Clear Streams


Artist Talk Antonella Fittipaldi

21st June 2020

A shameless dance of your throat

A conversation on: how through playing with the mimesis, the appropriation of limits, shame and judgment, it is possible to empower what had always been considered as “shame”. To reveal what can collapse, to open up new meanings.

Starting from Julia Kristeva, Powers of Horror and Anne Carson, The Gender of Sound as references, the conversation will host speeches from Vala T. Foltyin, Parisa Madani, tim faraus and Antonella Fittipaldi.

How shame, taboo and judgment shape the bodies and their expressions. How the recognition of these limits and their downfall could be a subversion.


“It is in large part according to the sounds people make that we judge them sane or insane, male or female, good, evil, trustworthy, depressive, marriageable, moribund, likely or unlikely to make war on us, little better then animals, inspired by God. These judgments happen fast and can be brutal. Aristotle tells us that highpitched voice of the female is one evidence of her evil disposition, for creatures who are brave or just (like lions, bulls, roosters and the human male) have large deep voices.”

“Madness and witchery as well as bestiality are conditions commonly associated with the use of the female voice in public, in ancient as well as modern contexts. Consider how many female celebrities of classical mythology, literature and cult make themselves objectionable by the way they use their voices. For example there is the heartchilling groan of the Gorgon, whose name is derived from a Sanskrit word *garg meaning “a guttural animal howl that issues as a great wind from the back of the throat through a hugely distended mouth” “ There is the deadly voice of the Sirens and the dangerous ventriloquism of Helen ( Odyssey) and the incredible babbling of Kassandra ( Aiskhylos, Agamemnon) and the fearsome hullabaloo of Artemis as she charges through the woods ( Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite). There is the seductive discourse of Aphrodite which is to concrete an aspect of her power that she can wear it on her belt as physical object or lend it to other women (Iliad) “

Anne Carson, The Gender of Sound.

“There looms, within abjection, one of those violent, dark re- volts of being, directed against a threat that seems to emanate from an exorbitant outside or inside, ejected beyond the scope of the possible, the tolerable, the thinkable. It lies there, quite close, but it cannot be assimilated. It beseeches, worries, and fascinates desire, which, nevertheless, does not let itself be se- duced. Apprehensive, desire turns aside; sickened, it rejects. A certainty protects it from the shameful—a certainty of whichit is proud holds on to it. But simultaneously, just the same,that impetus, that spasm, that leap is drawn toward an elsewhere as tempting as it is condemned. Unflaggingly, like an inescap- able boomerang, a vortex of summons and repulsion places the one haunted by it literally beside himself.”

“When I am beset by abjection, the twisted braid of affectsand thoughts I call by such a name does not have, properly speaking, a definable object. The abject is not an ob-ject facing me, which I name or imagine. Nor is it an ob-jest, an otherness ceaselessly fleeing in a systematic quest of desire. What is abject is not my correlative, which, providing me with someone or something else as support, would allow me to be more or less detached and autonomous. The abject has only one quality of the object—that of being opposed to I. If the object, however, through its opposition, settles me within the fragile texture of a desire for meaning, which, as a matter of fact, makes me ceaselessly and infinitely homologous to it, what is abject, on the contrary, the jettisoned object, is radically excluded and draws me toward the place_where meaning collapses.”

“A certain "ego" that merged with its master, a superego, has flatly driven it away. It lies outside, beyond the set, and does not seem to agree to the latter's rules of the game. And yet, from its placeof banishment, the abject does not cease challenging its master. Without a sign (for him), it beseeches a discharge, a convulsion, a crying out. To each ego its object, to each superego its abject.”
“jouissance alone causes the abject to exist as such. One does not know it, one does not desire it, one joys in it [on enjouit]. Violently and painfully. A passion.”
“Abjection is above all ambiguity. Because, while releasing a hold, it does not radically cut off the subject from what treatens it—on the contrary, abjection ac- knowledges it to be in perpetual danger. But also because abjection itself is a composite of judgment and affect, of condem- nation and yearning, of signs and drives. Abjection preserves what existed in the archaism of pre-objectal relationship, in the immemorial violence with which a body becomes separated from another body in order to be—maintaining that night in which the outline of the signified thing vanishes and where only the imponderable affect is carried out. To be sure, if I am affected by what does not yet appear to me as a thing, it is because laws, connections, and even structures of meaning gov- ern and condition me. That order, that glance, that voice, that gesture, which enact the law for my frightened body, constitute and bring about an effect and not yet a sign.”

Julia Kristeva, Powers of Horror.


A conversation to the research and work of Antonella Fittipaldi. With Vala T. Foltyn, Parisa Madani and tim faraus. As part of the festival Uma grande afirmação.