RADICAL MASCULINTY – Words by Jessi Lewis

By Sam Eacott

‘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 more.’
CRY is a new exhibition being presented this Midsumma, at Abbotsford Convent,  by Jessi Lewis better known for his performance and work in arts journalism. Though new to the medium he has chosen to branch out and has turned his creative pursuits to portraiture and videography. This exhibition  shows men opening up and revealing their vulnerability through the tears they shed. To often, society places unnecessary bounds on the behaviour and attitude of men, what this project seeks, is to challenge such notions. 
On the exhibition “When I look back at my childhood, i ponder how much of my upbringing has shaped me into the person I am today. I also wonder, that if I had stronger male role models, who were not afraid to show their weakness, to cry, would I be a different person now? Having created performance art for around 14 years now , I’m increasingly frustrated by its inability to fully realise its wanting of conversations that extend outside of the physical parameters of the performance space. This exhibition has successfully overcome this, Midsumma Festival is just the first chance to see this work somewhere in Australia next year.” 
CRY not only brings important and pressing concepts of masculinity and behaviour into focus but also in difference seeks the coming together of people. 2017 proved that no matter how much further we continue to progress, we must understand that in this past year damaging and hurtful attacks were still openly excepted in public discourse.
In its simple embrace of what is easily at hand, these men are presented stripped of all but trace elements. A radical notion, the tearing down of the patriarchy, art as activism. Cry is being presented as a special one night only event at Abbotsford Convent  on Friday the 19th of January from 7pm.
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