Stripped of armour to a transparent vulnerability. Individuals in private pain – shared in unexpected spaces. In a poetic silence, these emotions swell, filling up the space between you and I. With each tear we shed, a new layer does emerge. Here we remain, transfixed in a state of flux, translucent beings, waiting and wanting of more.
A visual collaboration between portraiture and performance, Cry is the first foray into portraiture and videography by Melbourne-based performance artist and writer Jessi Lewis. Cry challenges the notion of masculinity, while transgressing the realms of sexuality and asking ‘What role does art assume in this ongoing shift in perception?’
Moving and honest, Cry shows men opening up and revealing their vulnerability through the tears they shed in video portraits.
‘When Jessi Lewis first approached me to invite The Laneway Artspace to support his latest project, I was immediately intrigued by the idea that explored the nature of men’s vulnerability,’ said Geoffrey Williams, The Laneway Artspace’s Founding Artistic Director. ‘Over the weeks that Jessi and his team curated and filmed the vignettes, I discovered that The Laneway Artspace is the perfect place in which Artists can be vulnerable. Every act of presenting your creativity to the world also brings with it the potential of criticism – founded and not.
When I saw Cry at its World Premiere presentation, I was completely overwhelmed by its humility … its quiet, potent contemplation of men at the precipice of lonely despair. But this point of immense sadness also inspired in me the purest hope … because it is the honesty of the emotion in this work, and the men who dare to share it with us, that makes it simply impossible to ignore.
Jessi’s ‘Cry’ is captivating, timely and important work, and it is an honour to have the opportunity to present it for a very special one night only encore presentation in the very space it was filmed.’