A visual collaboration between portraiture and performance, CRY is the first foray into portraiture and videography by Melbourne-based performance artist and writer Jessi Lewis.
Challenging the notion of masculinity, while transgressing the realms of sexuality, CRY asks: “What role does art assume in this ongoing shift in perception?” Moving and honest, CRY shows men opening up and revealing their vulnerability through the tears they shed in video portraits.
In CRY, the perceived notion of masculinity and the old adage of ‘boys don’t cry’ – being the exact behaviour that is under scrutiny. No matter how much further we continue to progress, we must understand that these times we are currently apart of still see it acceptable that the right to marry be something that is subjected to damaging and public debate.
CRY not only brings these important and pressing subjects under scrutiny, but it also seeks to bring people together in solidarity. Stripped of armour, in this space, these individuals are no longer alone, and now able to share in their vulnerability and not so quiet pain.
“In an increasingly threatened world, we need conversation and ideas to be put forward that, from the very foundations, shake or in the least questions what society terms as acceptable behaviour,” says Lewis.
Jessi Lewis has been creating solo performance for 13 years nationally and internationally, most recently in Indonesia, Malaysia and India. Alongside his cross disciplinary solo works are his collaborative explorations with individuals across a broad spectrum of investigative, cultural and creative backgrounds. His work is never comfortable, always challenging the ideals of the mainstream. Through art he believes that bridges can be built between individuals and communities.
This project in its entirety, is independently funded and produced. To make a tax deductible donation and pledge your support for this groundbreaking project, head to: The Australian Cultural Fund!
CRY will be presented at the Abbotsford Convent in January & February 2018 as part of the Midsumma Festival. Exhibition details to be announced 22 November 2017.
Image: courtesy of Jessi Lewis