Perhaps I exist – a manifesto by artist Pauline Canavesio
Pauline Canavesio is a French multidisciplinary artist based in Berlin. Music was Canavesio’s first call, followed by making her own videos. Pauline always had a curiosity for the digital, and to go further into the exploration of bodies, so she decided to learn how to manipulate the 3D rendering software. From a young age Pauline has been interested in drawing, often focusing on flowers, but never took a single drawing class. Just like sculpture, she never went to any art school. And here is her manifesto.
A birth, a body. To live. A body, a lineage. The handover of an emotional legacy. A birth, with or without a cry. An appeal to the world. A body, a jarring, unintended reflection. A face, an identity. A birth, a language with words to grasp. A birth, a body to invest. As a child, aren’t we all looking for our own language? Mine was that of an endless craving. As I was lost for words, I took refuge in abundance. I would fill myself. I felt alive only when full. A birth, a reflection where each would reflect and project a being. Picturing what each wants to picture in it. A birth, gazes falling upon. A sexual identity. A body with corners, with curvy, straight, unique lines. And this question that crosses my skin: who/what can I be?
Be loved, protected. Yet, this same one question. Then one day, a loss. Being confronted to loss taught me to face myself. Through the exploration of my envelope, my insight has proved to set free. Free, open perception, eyes starting to grow within, inside. I was discovering life through loss. I was letting go while investing my body, converting it, immersing myself in it. As I was confronting my inner sight, the world around me started to unveil. It felt like a second birth. I think I chose to be born and find my own language at that exact moment. My fascination for the body has kept growing ever since and has spread across my entourage. I started to share this above all human exploration first with my friends, my sisters. During suspended times, naked, exposed to our different approaches to the intimate. I realised that we were all facing our own fears. This relation with modesty and intimacy is proper to each. There resides my fascination. The intimacy and our defensive systems, how one protects oneself and chooses to unveil. Curves, imperfections, stretched, square, round bodies, I am fascinated by the journey of every single person who enters my life. Everything happens through dialogue, one’s curiosity about the other, through sharing perceptions that then are pictured in paintings, in sounds which obviously capture a given moment but still intend to be timeless. What is happening when one immerges oneself in this inner reflection, with the body as a receiver? Skin, flesh, can they transcribe the being or the non-being?
I like sharing slices of life, states of people that surround me. I like the whisper of Paolo’s voice suggesting that he will let his hair grow. I like sharing thoughts with Raphaëlle when she takes her shower after she sunbathes and gets her body red. I like looking at Alicia smoking her cigarette, tracing the marks on her body. I like Jade who has her fist on her breast, staring into space. I like Vida in my black coat who, in the pitch black of night, talks to me about the universe. I like this stranger whose nose is dripping in the tube.
Some pictures inspire me: flesh, the life in the core of veins, the unconscious, that organic mechanism and its uncontrolled phenomena which make me up and tackle some taboo get me affected and excited. All the media I’m investing are connected and they answer back. Either through the sound exploration of the inner body, through recording the inside of my vagina or through painting people that affect me. The birth of a personal language.
It is important for me to create spaces for freedom, by sharing and investing other spaces, opening doors. Through digital spaces for instance, and technology. With Eliza, we created a project called VGN FRST (Vagina forest), it’s an online interactive organism that has several rooms to enter and is constantly growing. This is a space where we feel free to be ourselves and create awareness, it is a quest.
While intertwining distorted bodies, beings, I try to redefine freedoms of the body as they appear to me. Which often brings me to the same questions. What is proper? What is crude? What is dirty? What is it to be? I’m flirting between limits we set to ourselves and are defined by ourselves but also by what surrounds us. I’m running inside my fears, pain, emotions to reveal what comes out of it. I’m trying to be emotionally aware of what is happening within me, in others and listen. Feel. Allowing myself to feel. I collect my failures and embrace them as they also make me strong.
It’s about showing the diversity of minds, by sharing your thoughts – letting the diversity of minds be, get minds to share their thoughts. Failures as beauty. Beauty lives also outside of the norms.
Symbols, breasts. I seek to capture human moments, interactions, that build me and make me alive. Those are sensations, emotions, pictures that only need to be lived. Can anything be explained? I don’t believe so. Through my art, what matters is the journey of a human being that lives and expresses oneself through one’s various explorations.
I have a body. I have a sonic body. I feel. Body memories. Sounds. My body is a medium to live, the first to perceive what I cannot see inside. I’m consuming virulent emotions. I eat them raw. I swallow them. Sometimes four at once. Anger, rage in my breast. Nostalgic flashes roaming my spine. You, still in my left ventricle. My vagina chants a heartache manifesto. Emotional pregnancy. Gestation. Violent secrets, words, in my stomach. Compulsive loss, emptiness, arousing my skin. I feel you. In every particle. In every molecule. Epidermis catharsis. Apprehensive palpation. Love traces, antarctic traversing my neck. I am an emotional cathedral.