Aunt Nell Gis

Kunstvlaai 06, Amsterdam NL
May 2006

Aunt Nell Gis is a large-scale drawing as a paper carpet made for the Kunstvlaai 06 (NL). The work was born from the need to produce a statement about the stalking, stoning, killing and hiding of the body of transvestite Gisberta, by 14 teenagers in the beginning of 2006 in Portugal. Aunt Nell Gis is a map and a pray: a post mortem depiction of the phenomenon of violence and, the power of silence. Gisberta is taken as a phantasmatic and allegoric lesson of love, desire and martyr sacrifice. The text in Aunt Nell Gis appears in form of ‘Polari’, a slang/anti-language in use mostly from the thirties till the seventies of the XX century (mainly in London, UK). Mainly used by homosexual men and theatre people as reaction to strict anti sodomy laws, its function was a way of protection and camouflage, or simply a form of attack, instinct or humor.
At a certain point the presentation of Aunt Nell Gis changed from an ephemeral work and presented /preserved as a documental process. This new display of the work gathered photographs of the original display, flyers, and sections of the original work that the public could take.