(Bianca Benenti Oriol and Marco Pezzotta)
“I was sweaty and tired and ugly when I arrived in the village. I’d lost the habit of such long walks. Nobody recognized me, maybe because it was a long time since I’d left, but I guess it was more to do with the fact that they were so absorbed with what they were doing, they didn’t pay attention at all. It was exactly the same routine as in my childhood, the same manners, gestures, the exact same ritual, only the people were a new generation and apart from a few old faces that seemed reminiscent of something, I didn’t know anyone.
Tables and chairs upside down, people walking and dancing barefoot, naked bodies shinning in the dark, with myriads of little drops of viscous liquid onto their skin, dripping along their shoulders, breast, legs. They were holding hands, touching each other, rubbing each other, talking to one another with such excitement, putting fingers into one another’s body holes. At the center of all this, placed in exactly the same area it was when I was a kid, was the same big transparent jar full of the product. They kept coming back to it, pouring their hands into it, massaging their bodies and the surrounding objects with it, offering it to the sky, the concrete ground, the metal chairs and tables, the table ware.
In my memories, people didn’t look so ferociously happy and exhilarated. It was incredible to see these expressions on people’s faces, distorted by joy. I sat and smoked a cigarette, contemplating the scene as nobody cared about my presence. And I felt the rush.
There was no way I could resist it, although I’d promised myself I would not perform the ritual this time. But in seconds my childhood and teenage years invaded my body’s memory, like a flash. I pictured myself, age twelve, covering myself with the transparent product as if it were liquid gold, shouting at the stars, crying in the night, dancing for hours and hours, until daylight and later.
I stood up, walked to the jar, took off my clothes and covered the sweat of my body with another type of shiny looking one. Chemical. Beautiful. Strong. I decided it would just be for tonight. Tomorrow I would return where I had come from. I would not do it again. Just this one time.”
Text from Lili Reynaud Dewar written for the exhibition