I’m Super excited about my video, The Chaos Within, that is going to be part of an exhibition opening tonight in London organized by curator Christine Eyene. This video was my very first video experiment and I’m thinking back to a time of my life when I found myself in a world of turmoil, due to the stillbirth of our baby girl, Gabrielle.

I find so much healing power in performance art and this was my first experiment. It really helped me get somewhere in the long road leading to getting over the tragedy and pain of losing her. I often analyse my performance and try to theoretically lay it out, but I find this a very hard process: going from a spontaneous reaction such as a performance and taking it to the opposite side/pole by rationally trying to lay it all out and ‘ explain’ it.

Once, when I was still blogging on Aryan Kaganof’s blog, he said that my urge to destroy my art might be a subconscious urge to commit suicide. I thought (and still think) this notion is ridiculous, since I don’t have a single suicidal bone in my body. However, this got my thinking and I do think it is all about trying to start over, or creating a rebirth. In The Chaos within, I slash up one of my self portraits, burn it and then urinate on it.

I am still in the possession of pieces of burnt canvas which remained after the performance.



carolee schneemann – meat joy (1964)

Writes Schneemann: Meat Joy is an erotic rite — excessive, indulgent, a celebration of flesh as material: raw fish, chicken, sausages, wet paint, transparent plastic, ropes, brushes, paper scrap. Its propulsion is towards the ecstatic — shifting and turning among tenderness, wildness, precision, abandon; qualities that could at any moment be sensual, comic, joyous, repellent. Physical equivalences are enacted as a psychic imagistic stream, in which the layered elements mesh and gain intensity by the energy complement of the audience. The original performances became notorious and introduced a vision of the “sacred erotic.” This video was converted from original film footage of three 1964 performances of Meat Joy at its first staged performance at the Festival de la Libre Expression, Paris, Dennison Hall, London, and Judson Church, New York City.

Meat Joy: First performed May 29, 1964, Festival de la Libre Expression, Paris. Filmed by Pierre Dominik Gaisseau. Editor: Bob Giorgio.


“Historically, there have been two great procedures for producing the truth of sex.” One is the technique of having erotic masters who “can transmit this art in an esoteric manner.” The second procedure is the “confession,” and today, “western man has become a confessing animal.”

“The obligation to confess is now relayed through so many different points, is so deeply ingrained in us, that we no longer perceive it as the effect of a power that constrains us; on the contrary, it seems to us that truth, lodged in our most secret nature, “demands” only to surface;…”
Michel Foucault, “The History of Sexuality,”

plot: philes and phobias

Once I mentioned pornography in a discussion about sexual education for adolescents. I got the reply `porn is too violent, too offensive.´ My mind skipped to gore for a second. I find it fascinating how uncomfortable one can feel when confronted with images of dead people, or wounds, or autopsies. It´s very invasive, the sight of blood and bones; our secretions ; our flesh. What HORRID stuff we´re made out of! (That which we associate with death). Same goes for porn, the confrontation with ´private parts´ can be pretty nasty and confronting no matter how addictive it can be (That which we associate with reproduction and life).

I recall the first time I ever saw porn as quite alarming. I soon discovered porn had no narrative. It made no sense to me at a young age. So if you draw some kind of parallel between porn and gore, one can put splatter films, which thrives on a lack of plot and order one side and on the other side you have porn films, thriving on exactly the same thing. Arnzen argues that “the spectacle of violence replaces any pretentions to narrative structure, because gore is the only part of the film that is reliably consistent.” In porn the only thing consistent is the fucking. Does narrative disappear in the presence of raw life and death? Do we lose the plot when confronted with our deepest biological make up?

Watching pleasure, watching pain. Watching the act of reproduction and the act of mutilation. No wonder our brains are mixing things up. Diagnosis: philes and phobias. You can write many books about those.

moon and flying snow

Beautiful fight scene between Moon (Zhang Ziyi) and Flying Snow (Maggie Cheung) in the yellow forest from the extended version of the movie “Hero”

Hero was first released in China on October 24, 2002. At that time, it was the most expensive project and the highest-grossing motion picture in Chinese film history.


My artistic process depends almost entirely on the relationship I have with the internet.I have been exhibiting my work online for six years. Considering myself an “Internet Diarist”, I post mostly autobiographical portrayals and confessional imagery for an online audience. The works are meant to be intimate peaks into my personal feminine day to day experiences. My work allows me to play around with an online persona and the idea of an alter ego. The immediacy of online exposure sets fire to quick bursts of mostly photographic experimentations.For any work of mine to come to a rapid full circle I need to conceptualize, create, upload, archive and expose online. The final action is often deletion of the image or denying public access by “erasing” the work.

the Chaos within reflects on how my self-portraiture becomes reliant on the persona or alter ego and cracking or detonating it time and again serves as an integral part of my creative process. I find meaning in the co-dependent relationship between creation and destruction, virtual reality being the
perfect platform for this process. ´the Chaos within´ was my first video-experiment, filmed with a webcam in 2009. It was a process consisting out of:

– An acrylic self portrait painting

– A performance

– A video

– The remains of the above, framed

© cecilia ferreira