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Franko B: Don’t Leave Me This Way

24/11/08

Franko B is a performance artist famed for his blood letting series of work!

Franko’s bloodletting pieces are in fact heart-wrenchingly sensitive. In person Franko is naive, giggly and enticing. His innocence and childlike personality contrasted with the vicious, violent and sexually explicit performance persona create an erotic combination for the Voyeur.

Franko’s infamous blood letting pieces all explore similar imagery: the shock and spectacle of this voluptuous middle aged male covered entirely in white paint and standing with overpowering nudity takes the spectators to a new level, when he begins to bleed. It is too much to tolerate for our congregation of salivating voyeurs. By labelling the audience as voyeuristic, a hierarchy is automatically created, placing them at the bottom. The connotations of the voyeur are not all that complimentary, however no human is free of the voyo-curiosity, thus we know the provocative spectacle of an event so detached from the ideological rat race is irresistible for the populate, all the more interestingly, it could be argued, are the deniers of performance art who some believe, are actually those who crave to be truly offended, and are in fact resisting human natures curiosity of the Avant guard.

franko

Franko B is highly influential within the genre of Performance, his latest piece Don’t Leave Me This Way completely re-shaped his ethos and aura as an artist. The piece was eleven minutes long and marked Franko’s disconnection with his controversial blood letting phase.  The audience were nervous; the energy was high, full of expectation, the spectators preparing themselves for the voluptuous tattooed naked body of Franko B. The stage was simply a dim-lit wooden chair!

The lights went down and the most inaudible selection of noise began. It can only be described as a soundtrack of pain which lasted for about seven minutes, during which the audience struggled to try and see Franko B, which due to the lack of illumination was impossible. Suddenly the noise stopped and a set of five stadium lights, which were positioned behind Franko, showered the audience in blinding light. Due to the positioning of the lights the audience were completely illuminated and the effect was unbearable. The spectators were again unable to see Franko B, the lights were too bright.

After four minutes of an excruciatingly uncomfortable struggle to focus on the performer the lights were shut off and Franko B had disappeared, leaving the audience in a state of confusion, unsure of what they had just witnessed. Some of the audience’s eyes were streaming and others felt nauseous as a consequence of this attack of the senses.

In retrospect Franko B had challenged the voyeur’s perception of what they had expected to witness, consequently marking the end of Franko B’s Blood letting chapter and opening a new section of the infamous artist’s performance career!

Franko B is an extremely exciting artist whose new work promises to be just as challenging and controversial as his previous repertoire.

“I use the body in a way in which empowers me, but not as some kind of bourgeois ideal. It is not about ‘me me me’, but it is about me and my worth as a human being in today’s society.”  Franko B.

Lola McEvoy

One Comment leave one →
  1. John. permalink
    27/11/08 11:58 pm

    Sounds powerful – hell, I felt nauseous just reading the review!

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