Aunt Nell Gis

Kunstvlaai 06, Amsterdam NL
May 2006

Aunt Nell Gis is a large-scale drawing made for the Kunstvlaai 06 (NL). The work was born from the urgency to produce a statement about the stalking, stoning, killing and hiding of Gisberta, a trans prostitute based in Porto (Portugal) at the hands of a group of 14 teenagers.

Aunt Nell Gis
aims to function as an emotional map and a pray: a post mortem register of the violent event and the power of silence. Gisberta becomes an allegoric lesson about love, justice and desire.
The text that is read in the drawing is written in ‘Polari’, a slang/anti-language in use up until the mid XX century (mainly in London, UK) by homosexual men and theater people. This slang operated as a device for camouflage, attack, and humor, in regard to the strict anti sodomy laws of that time.

On a second stage, the work was dismantled and presented as archive. This archive gathered photographs of the original display, postcards with the poem that was within the image, as well as sections of the original work for scale reference and to be taken by visitors.