a project by Silvia Calderoni and Ilenia Caleo together with Va-Bene Elikem K. Fiatsi [crazinisT artisT]
graphics and post-production CHEAP street poster art
project curated by Paola Granato
writing Ilenia Caleo
translation Ilaria Patano
SO IT IS_Kumasi is the second stage of SO IT IS project and it is an invitation to the crossdisciplinary artist, performer and trans-activist Va-Bene Elikem K. Fiatsi [crazinisT artisT]: embracing a practice and building an unpredictable imaginary of what bodies can be and do.
We met with Va-Bene online, between December 2020 and January 2021, during yet another pandemic wave. Va-Bene lives in Kumasi, in Ghana, where sHit founded and has been directing, since 2011, crazinisT artisT studiO, a non-profit research space focusing on performance and an international programme of artistic residencies. This space and the multi-faceted community inhabiting and crossing it make up the relational environment within which the poster takes shape.
We invited Va-Bene to appropriate - with complete freedom - the rules we wrote to communicate the practice of creating the poster.
- each poster is one and unique, like our bodies (as long as it is not our desire that changes this indication)
- the shot is full-length, the body is naked
- the size of the poster is full size
- the body is at rest and not in an action
- the interventions on the body are carried out in graphic post-production / photomontage
- each poster is posted in a different city
- the artist chooses the exact place for the posting, based on their city and the communities that live there
Throughout its stages, SO IT IS _# weaves a network of affections and relations: a practice of contact with the people we will meet and the communities surrounding them, materialising in an urban, non-virtual space. It is a gesture of infestation of public spaces.
The action-matrix which inspired SO IT IS_Roma came to life in Bologna in 2020, within the public art project La lotta è fica, designed and curated by CHEAP street poster art. Now it thrives and transforms through other bodies and places.
The map of posters will be put together, stage by stage.
Born 1981 in Ho, Ghana, Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi [crazinisT artisT] works internationally but lives in Kumasi, Ghana. sHit is a multidisciplinary “artivist”, founder and artistic director of perfocraZe International Artists Residency (pIAR) perfocraZe International Artists Residency (pIAR), which aimed at promoting exchange between international and local artists, activists, researchers, curators, and thinkers. As a performer and installation artist, crazinisT investigates gender stereotypes, prejudices, queerness, identity politics and conflicts, sexual stigma and their consequences for marginalized groups or individuals. With rituals and a gender-fluid persona, sHit employs sHits own body as a thought-provoking tool in performances, photography, video, and installations, ‘life-and-live-art’ confronting issues such as disenfranchisement, social justice, violence, objectification, internalized oppression, anti blackness, systemic indoctrination and many more.
crazinisT has performed across the globe and featured in several selected exhibitions and festivals including Festival Arte Negra - FAN (Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2019), Chale Wote 2019, FITRIO (Rio Preto, Brazil, 2019) White Out (NRW Forum, Dusseldorf, 2019), Interval 10 (Essen Germany, 2019) Slow Sunday (London UK, 2018, and many others.