- Intersection Vol.1 A Photo Exhibition Prize
Dates2020 - Ongoing
ALPHA PROJECT BY PAMELA PISCICELLI AND JULIETTE WAYENBERG
"There is a species on Earth where the cub emerges from the womb and is taken by the hind legs, held upside down and beaten by an adult until it cries."
C.Rochefort, Les enfants d’abord (1976).
They tell you that they will take your baby away to the nursery, because you are not able to take care of her right now.
You don’t understand.
Why can't your baby stay with you?
They take her away.
They tell you that if you are well enough you can go see your baby at the nursery in the morning.
You have just given birth, and you have to ask permission to see your baby.
You arrive at the nursery: a few square feet of functional space.
Too many neons. Too much noise. Too much heat. Eighteen plastic boxes, they call them "cradles". Inside these boxes, eighteen screaming newborns. What can these babies do, for endless hours, but scream at the top of their lungs. They need everything, not this cold reality.
The medicalization of birth, the result of a sanitary, paternalistic and patriarchal mindset, has transformed the most primitive and intuitive moment into an event to be dealt with. Women full of oxytocin are sedated and tempered, in the name of a supreme wellness they themselves ignore. Defenseless babies are manipulated and immediately taken away so as not to disturb the professionals. They are placed in the care of paid strangers, covered in latex in a cold room called the 'nursery'. The procedural system kicks in. Patriarchy takes revenge.
What do newborn babies see? How do they feel? What kind of stress do they experience in the unnatural transition from womb to hospitalization? What trauma do they retain of their first experience of abandonment? What would it be like to take the side of babies for once, listen to them and interpret their needs ignored by a society designed for adults?
Alpha is urgent. It is the search for primordial unity, that of the mother-child dyad. Alpha is the first letter, the first time, the first deprivation. It is also, from a neurological point of view, a slightly altered state of consciousness, that of dreams and children.
At first, an adult-sized plexiglass box reproducing a cradle immerses the audience in a nursery space where, surrounded by artworks hanging from the ceiling and placed on the floor, they will experience the harsh reality, without liquid, without a mother of a hospital maternity. Then, guided by the sound of the heartbeat as heard from inside the womb, and through visual installations and video dance panels, they will be brought back to the gestational age, highlighting the clash with the outside world.
Alpha is a denunciation and cathartic. Through images, words and sounds, it embodies the first emotional traumas and the violence inherent in zero-risk policy lead societies that seek efficiency, at the cost of losing our humanity.