This exhibition by Yannis Generalis challenges universally accepted notions of gender and identity and explores the relationship between artist, artwork and space as a performative expression of creative embodiment. The artist’s articulations of multiple hybrid queer identities exhibit the many complex layers of signification which are the drivers of what he calls hybrid vigour. This body of work is an exploration of the Self, in the process of creation, as enacted under the tyranny of a heteronormative landscape.
“Ecce homo” was purportedly the words used by Pontius Pilate when he presented Jesus of Nazareth to the crowd that condemned him to the cross. Friedrich Nietzsche used these words in the title of his last published book Ecce Homo (Behold the Man): How One Becomes What One Is. It was written towards the end of his career and prior his descent into insanity. It is often referred to as his autobiography and his last original philosophical work. His use of these words (ecce homo) strips them of their shackles of divinity, appropriating them into his own worldly background.
He challenges his readers to reconsider the original intention of dogmatic truth implied within Christ’s martyrdom and transcendence. Truth, Nietzsche suggests, needn’t require dying on the cross. In doing so, he achieves a different kind of transcendence, one that is firmly present in becoming who you are, by beholding this man (homo), this body, this exquisite and unique embodiment of Self. Articulations of multi-hybrid queer identities, such as the artist’s, are positioned as liminal protagonists of social geographies in flux.
This body of work is an exploration of the self and the act of art-making, as enacted upon heteronormative landscapes and is realised in various media. The creative dialogue generated in this process challenges universally accepted archetypes of gender and identity. The multiple hybridised symbolic layers that drive the work become evidence of hybrid vigour.