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Small Acts Of Violence

Cinematic Virtual Reality Installation, 2023

25 mins, Colour, English spoken, Dutch subtitles

Produced by  ARGOS Centre for Audio Visual Arts 

We are all in need of love and care. But what happens when those who love and care for us are also physically or verbally violent? What happens when we are the violent ones? Out of this, how can you evolve a sense of safety?

Small Acts of Violence is a surreal cinematic 360° experience concerning the entanglement of love and non-consensual physical violence and self-harm in intimate/ family relationships. The work is built from testimonies of women, non-binary, non- cis male perpetrators of domestic violence from Belgium and the United Kingdom, alongside repetitive, intimate performances of a fictional family. The experience seeks to expand our conception of domestic violence as the fragmented narratives traverse intergenerational trauma, sexuality, fear and shame beyond

simplistic assumptions of the victim and perpetrator binary. The experience itself is fucking beautiful, gross, sexual, rancid and tender, asking: What are the actions we take in the name of love? What violence do we, in hindsight, blame on love?

You are invited to take a seat low to the ground and asked for consent to place a device on your head, ‘Are you okay? I am here if you need me.’ You arrive into a lush pastel, glowing space, where the voice of Love takes over, welcoming you to the family, while reminding you of your autonomy. You are a delivered into a vibrant shell, a world that echoes an abstract home with familiar domestic objects and kitsch, soft, coluorful bubble emoji. The space is lush and appealing, yet tinged with the grotesque. Grouped on the floor around you are small constellations of people. Most are engaged in their private moments; one is looking around the space, much like you.

You are at the centre of this complex web of enacted love and warmth that, mingles with a threat that ripples through the performers’ bodies. As the space hums and vibrates, the confessional storytelling of Love blends in and out while you turn yourself to look around you. All around, the family scenes occur simultaneously, overlapping and combining. You must choose whose action you follow, knowing you are letting go of others. You must choose whether you stay to witness and listen, or choose to turn away. As he narrative unfolds, it culminates in collective exhaustion and reflection.

Writer & Director: Aay Liparoto — Movement: Lucia Palladino — Performers: Sophy Ribrault, Jihan Imago, Kaori Ishiguro, Matilda Cobanli, Hazel Lam, Marie Diaby, Lucia Palladino — Produced by: ARGOS — With support from: workspacebrussels and AAIR (Antwerp) — Granted VAF Innovation Lab scenario & development  funding 2021 and Production Funding 2022

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