Freaky Friday takes place each Friday the 13th and it features performance artists from all over the world, as well as local visual artists. This time there were 3 performance artists: Zamora the Torture King from USA, Maryanne Magdalen from Sweden and Ana Laco from Rijeka.
The venue is a club slash concert hall called Pogon Jedinstvo, where a lot of rock concerts take place (for example, the upcoming Neurosis concert on July 2nd).
My gallery corner was a part of the wall closer to the entrance, lit by two spotlights. I displayed my ten darkest artworks in various techniques including paintings, drawings and mixed media collages.
The exhibition was open from show opening at around 8:30 in the evening, to closing at around midnight.
Before and after that I was mostly hanging out with Ana and the sword swallower Maryanne.
Performances were not for the faint of heart — if you are squeamish, you might not want to see some of the photos below.
Ana Laco is the owner of the piercing & tattoo studio here in Rijeka, and she is the pioneer of suspension in Croatia. For those of you who don’t know what suspension is, it’s the practice of hanging the human body with large hooks.
As Ana explained during her brief presentation, this practice was a part of many rituals in Native American tribes, and a part of some spiritual practices in India. Today it’s a modern performance art and people all over the world practice it for different reasons.
Next up was Zamora the Torture King, who started the show by eating a glass bulb, and later eating a red string that he later pulled out directly from his stomach by making an incision through his body.
In the second act, Maryanne has performed fire swallowing. The act itself is dangerous and I’m sure it took a lot of practice to perfect it so much, but with Maryanne’s mesmerizing beauty and charisma, it actually looked simply visually gorgeous.
Zamora then did some other feats like cutting vegetables and sausages on his bare chest, without leaving a single cut. (As a person who manages to hurt herself regularly in the kitchen, I can sure learn a lot from this guy.)
After that, Maryanne performed the 4000 years old art of sword swallowing.
The swords are real and not collapsible magician’s tools — there are no parlor tricks involved, but actual physical act of carefully inserting and pulling out the sword from the artist’s digestive tract without harming herself. I’ve never seen anything like that in person before.
Zamora then did what was probably the most infamous act of the evening: sticking thin, sharp metal rods through the muscles of his arms and head. Honestly, that was a bit painful to watch and I was very intrigued by the meditative technique he mentioned he uses in order to dull his sense of pain.
The evening ended with another suspension session by Ana, and it was only 11 when the show was over.
This concludes my art tour for the month June, unless something new comes up.
Now I need to prepare for my upcoming solo show in September, and work hard for our annual sci-fi convention Rikon, which means I’ll be working hard this summer!
Wish me luck :)
About Nela Dunato
Artist, brand designer, teacher, and writer. Author of the book “The Human Centered Brand”. Owner of a boutique branding & design consultancy that helps experienced service-based businesses impress their dream clients.
On this blog I write about art, design, creativity, business, productivity and marketing, and share my creative process and tips. Read more about me...
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