Benjamin Abras

poet, contemporary artist, independent researcher

Benjamin Abras, Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil)

I’m a poet, contemporary artist with an interdisciplinary approach and independent researcher.

At the Saari Residence, I am working on a performative documentary movie. I base the script on my new poem book Dautonic Garden and my essay Diaspora in Transe, which deal with the reverberations of the affective memories of three generations in my body, target as a black. European, Lebanese and African memories are making this body a cultural crossroad.

The central questions in the process:

  •  How to build transversal philosophical goals about human identities?
  • What did it mean to a body from the subs, how not feel belonging to the stereotype of his country after across the planet in the last 20 years?
  • What is identity out of place called the place for that culture?
  • What is being a human somehow out of the stereotype of cultural approach?
  • What means ancestrality in a personal goal?
  • What don’t we see in the way the others see us, in this cultural layer?

My expectations for this residency are based on the possibility of creating together some opportunity for an exhibition of this movie that I am building, maybe together with other Foundation programs for a future exhibition.

My working methods involve the intersection of languages in three layers: reading, drawing, and immersion in the techniques of Afro Butoh, a performative dance theatre with Afro Brazilian goals. It is a field of research with an afro diasporic approachOnly five researchers share this knowledge in the world. I am one of them, with the blessing of the Butoh Master Yoshito Ohno.

My process in the first month follows the flow of a ritual. Every day I choose one of the poems. I read and dive into a body immersion in the phonetic vibrations of those words trying to open the gate of new memories inside the phonetics of those words. After that immersion, I draw creating storyboards about the possible image for the shootings and experimenting with the soundtrack’s memory of the sound in a performative writing process.

In this project, I invited the contemporary artist Neïs Casasola, who brings together fashion and contemporary art in her production, to build together a sculpture with which I will explore other elements between the corporealities present in the resonance of my voice to generate the movement of this sculpture when the sound of my voice in resonance move my body.

During the second month, I am planning to experiment with the images in the storyboards, studying the connection embodying the voice, in the sculpture, with Neïs making some shoots to see what kind of poetic comes out from this connection in between voice, sculpture, and the memories moving my body.