disappearance (cocoon) - Amalia Caputo

Disappearance (Cocoon) Is an ongoing body of work that deals with the idea of protection and transformation. For the Disappearance series, 2017-19, I first hand-made a knitted cocoon, with the idea of having a place to disappear temporarily, or a womb in which creation would gestate a new human. This aid to help us cope with the world that surrounds us as a fetish safe-space has accompanied me since 2017. I have used it as material and subject, as content and form to produce diverse bodies of work, some of which I am presenting here. From the domestic realm to the art world, and into nature, the cocooned woman performs silent acts of presence/absence.

This notion of Disappearance interests me through its different meanings: the act of someone or something ceasing to be visible, the immigrant that disappears from their land, the immigrant who arrives invisible to a new land, the fact of someone going missing, the process of something ceasing to exist or be in use(Oxford Dictionary). In terms of women-hood, inequalities, fear, anger, angst, we are constantly being faced to undertake different understandings of what reality is. Paul Virilio wrote in 2009 a book named “The Aesthetics of Disappearance” in relation to the phenomenology of perception, offering a simpler perception to the current state of affairs (then, it was the Cold War), as an opportunity to rethink our relationship to time in this fast- paced world.  The notions of speed, the addictions of the technological realm, the parallel and discontinuous realities offered by social media, dislocations, fake-news, and our fragile and interrupted sense of reality in this discontinuous moment, all align with the notion of difference, truth, power relations, and their counterpart of angst, fear, and unsafety.

This growing trap of loops of both vastness and emptiness has inspired this ongoing series which, simply put, speak about the possibilities of absence and presence, aided by an artifice, in this case, the knitted cocoon that becomes, a protection, a hidden place, a womb, a burka, a testimony of women’s invisibility, violence, inequalities, death, and a long etc. As Kirkegaard organized the stages of human existence in three stages: the aesthetic, the ethical and the religious; this ongoing body of work –which shifts from the sculptural object (knitted black cocoon) to an artifice that is worn by a body/bodies,-- marks a desperate effort to escape from the collective non-humanitarian self, and finally lose ourselves in the intimate, sensation of small experiences, moments, landscapes, through transformation. It is in this sense that the cocoon serves as a womb for hiding and growth. The self that evolves carries this invisible/visible cloak is the one who tries to live in this world. From the domestic realm to the art world, and into nature, the cocooned woman performs silent acts of presence/absence.

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