I Feel Empty

• Franko B (2003)

What I do is my contribution to the society I live in. I use art as a language to communicate the things I care about. For me, this is the most eloquent way I can communicate.

Everyone is a refugee, including those who are on the fringes of society, marginalised by their sexuality or ethnicity, or anyone with baggage created through the structures of dominant Western capitalist culture. I don’t want to be Coca-Cola or Madonna.

I am not interested in my legacy as an artist once I am dead. What I am interested in is in the ideal of a community that is about sharing, engaging and contributing to language (language is life) rather than having free membership of some art club.

All of my art embodies ‘me’, and my body is always present in my work whether the form is a live event, a photograph or an object. Although my work is personal it is not navel-gazing; it is driven, but it is not about propaganda. I use the body in a way that empowers me but not as some kind of bourgeois ideal. It is not about me me me but it is about me and my worth as a human being in today’s society. This is not something that one can quantify by purely using criteria based on commercial terms or on one’s position in the art market. Some of us may not want to be taken up by the likes of Saatchi. Artists can contribute to a vision of human worth. Even if one cannot economically quantify this art, it is worth pursuing and supporting.

My work presents the body in its most carnal, existential and essential state, confronting the human condition in an objectified, vulnerable and seductively powerful form.

I use video as a diary, reflecting what I have been exposed to in my daily experience. It is a record of life, sex, love, war; attempting to document the things that touch you, and break your heart. For two years I photographed people sleeping in the streets of London, in the forgotten spaces I pass through getting from A to B.

I strive to use the body in a way that does not take away its dignity, by being responsible to myself, as well as to the work. I work to create a language that touches on the things that show us we are not alone. We are all bleeding inside.

I rely on things that I own or that I make my own. I cover discarded domestic objects with bloodied canvas from my performance, to give them a new lease of life by making them mine, giving them love and a new home. All the work produced is a product of recycling. I use blood as more than a physiological exercise. Blood gives life. Blood is thicker than water.

I believe in beauty, but in a beauty that is not detached from life. My concern is to make the unbearable bearable, to provoke the viewer to reconsider their own understandings of beauty and of suffering.


related works:

Blood Canvas >

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Published in Live: Art and Performance

[Tate Publishing] (2004)

© 2015 Franko B and the contributors