Queer performance artist Abel Azcona is famous for his eccentric displays, but (no pun intended) his most recent show is truly unforgettable. He’s a veteran in the performance art scene and has participated in hundreds of projects and individual exhibitions.
Earlier this week, Azcona tattooed President Donald Trumps campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” around his anus. The 28-year-old Spanish artist spread his cheeks for the tattooing in front of a crowd of excited Chicagoans at the Defibrillator Gallery.
He told The Huffington Post that he views his new ink as a queer, political act. “I always worked my body as a weapon and a political tool,” Azcona said. “For more than 12 years I have been performing political and social performances and exhibitions that have led me to jail, detention or death threats.”
"Encuentro del artista #AbelAzcona con los participantes en su performance en la Facultad de Bellas Artes de San Carlos de la Universitat Politècnica de València UPV. Más de doscientas personas participaron y hablaron con el artista. Ese mismo día se presento su exposición retrospectiva en Museari. Museu de l'Imaginari, que se puede visitar hasta el mes de Febrero. Y realizó visitas y conferencias a otras universidades y espacios como la Facultat de Geografía e Historia y la Universitat de Valencia." Fotografías: Eva Mañez para Valencia Plaza.
“I believe in the empowerment of the body and of the pain. The anus is a pleasure zone for many people and an area of sin for others. I think demystifying what the anus is, and writing a fascist political motto like that in my anus, is a clearly critical and subversive action.”
Azcona continued, “I believe that all of us who consider ourselves different should never be silent. We must attack. We must use our body as a weapon of empowerment. We are faggots, women, Mexicans, blacks and different. And we are brave. Art is the greatest critical, social and political weapon I know, and if we know how to use it, among all, we will end up with Trump’s hatred of this new era.”
Azcona explained that he chose the tattoo for its potent symbolism. “The anus is a land of pleasure and a terrarium of empowerment for many. And we will not shut up. Every time I shit or someone penetrates me, I will pass on that racist and homophobic phrase.”