I don't want
Video Installation 16:15, 4K, three channels, color, sound
The demand to have a strict control over his or her emotions is one of the main imperatives that is put onto an individual by society. Excessive emotionality is blamed at its best and treated psychiatrically at its worst.
A whole set of institutions is monitoring how a person performs the reactions prescribed: isn’t he or she going beyond the established framework of ‘normativity’? Schools, psychiatric care hospitals, police and corporations are among those institutions. All together they form a kind of panopticon which is a prison with a perfectly designed mechanism of control. Everyone is being constantly observed in this institution.
A woman is a classic prisoner of contemporary panopticon. She is constantly monitoring her makeup and figure. And she is especially controlling her behavior in order not to act too loud or too dominant. More often she is unable to refuse or to say no, as the woman in intimate heterosexual relationship was expected to set her own needs to one side in order to better to attend to partner’s needs. It seems that no one forces a woman to hide emotions now, but she is obliged by discipline and by the idea of femininity itself. At the same time, many emotions are forbidden for men, tears for instance. Crying is a masculine taboo. And displaying sadness or fear in public also runs counter the traditional notion of masculinity.
We have to behave neutral when we are in pain, when we suffer from a loss or an unhappy love, from a betrayal — we must hide this grief. A punishment for violating emotional discipline is social rejection and, as a result, loneliness.
Mascha Naumova explores the connections between loneliness, social normativity and expectations. May a desire of invulnerability be caused by these social entanglements? Why, afraid of being hurt by loneliness, we are surrounding ourselves by walls of self-censorship?