“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”
George R.R. Martin
“Shameless” is a performance series about the social concerns and views about shame.
“Shame and Erotica" is the first performance of this project.
The series is not seeking a deep theoretical understanding or explanation of shame. It is about how our bodies become objectified in shame by our social views about eroticism, sin, and gender roles.
As a performance artist I believe that the body is the main protagonist of my performance pieces. I want to give the viewer an intimate experience through sound, light and space transformation, where the viewer will experience a body as a live object.
It was my 24th birthday: I woke up in my bed, on my bedside table I found a letter written by my mother. The other day my mother saw my portfolio, and she found a lithographic image that I made back in 2014. She was shocked to see that her son had drawn picture of himself wearing a bra. I got the letter on the morning of my 24th birthday, and in it my mom showed her anger, frustration, guilt and shame about me . Yes, it is about me and my identity. The identity I have been talking about shamelessly for the last few years, with my family, my friend and with the people I am surrounded by in Dhaka.
Being open about my sexual orientation was not a super easy thing for me. I went through the tunnel of depression and suppression, I went through the journey of questioning myself about my identity. Is this identity a shame, or am I being shameless to talk about it publicly? This journey took me to also question my surroundings about the meaning of masculinity, identity and shame. I still don’t have the answer. I still don’t understand why my mother on her letter was saying that me/ my identity is a shame for me and my family.
In this work I am not looking for something beyond my life. It is a performance that I am trying to present in front of a large audience to make them think about my personal issue and about their experience of shame , masculinity and identity.
Ali Asgar is a young artist who lives and works in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He obtained a BFA in printmaking from the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka in 2015. He mainly works in print making and live art.
Ali's work addresses issues of gender, sexuality and social taboos, often referring back to his personal conflicts vis-a-vis the stereotypes imposed on the members of a minority community. He regularly uses his own body and self-imagery as a rudimentary element to walk the line between the reality and the artifice of self-analysis.