Mater by Melissa Giowanella

Women who have decided to be mothers will always be judged by their actions as mothers. They're never good enough, they don't do anything right, they have too few or too many children. They are seen just as mothers, never as women. Those who don't want to be mothers are harshly judged as well. They are labeled as troubled and flawed woman. Since they refuse to fulfill their role in the society, they are condemned to a sad, lonely, and embittered life.

Mater by Melissa Giowanella

Mater by Melissa Giowanella

Why do women still have their value associated to motherhood? At the beginning of our journey as a species, motherhood was seen either as a gift or something feared and distrusted. We were goddesses who generated life. We were respected. But over time, that changed. Children became a bargaining chip, women were dehumanized and became breeders. Our value was measured by the ability to generate strong and healthy children. Children represented workforce, strengthening and enriching of the families, they were sources of profit and expansion of power. Women were just the means to an end... We still are.

Mater by Melissa Giowanella

Mater by Melissa Giowanella

Our society still judges and oppresses women through their reproductive capacity. Our bodies do not yet belong to us. Having children or not is yet not considered our choice. When it comes to motherhood, for the society all women have bloodstained hands, regardless they are mothers or not.

Mater by Melissa Giowanella

Mater by Melissa Giowanella

“The sacred in me is the source of the sin that punishes humanity. I am the one who generates. I'm the one who kills. I carry in my hands the guilt for the choices imposed on me. A woman is only born to be a mother. And when a mother is born, a woman dies.”

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Melissa Giowanella

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Melissa Giowanella

Melissa Giowanella

is a brazilian actress, photographer, producer, video maker, educator, and researcher in theater and photography. As a visual artist, she brings to her work the consistency and drama of the theater. Her focus is to study and develop the self-portrait as a critical and questioning tool. She currently dedicates herself to Fine Art photography as a means of artistic expression, always seeking a critical reflection on social issues. In 2022, she began studying and performing creative experimentations with new approaches, starting a production on Hybrid Photography.

 

“My roots are in theater, and the desire to tell stories made me an artist. And as an artist, one of the tools I use is photography. Using photography as a form of personal expression, it was in artistic and contemporary photography that I found a fertile environment so which I could overflow all my questions. As a legacy of my qualifications in the theater, my images have accentuated staging, with great visual and conceptual drama. My work has a baroque visual aspect with a moody atmosphere. I use dark art as a visual strategy to express myself. My great inspirations and references are Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Zdzisław Beksiński, Brooke Shaden, Olivier de Sagazan and Gottfried Helnwein. I appropriate the self-portrait to build my narratives. I use both manipulated digital photography and hybrid photography to be able to express my questions. My main motivations are questioning and criticism. My work doesn't seek a pleasant place. It seeks discomfort. From identification of what disturbs me, my images bring it out and produce reflections. My main questions are related to my identity as a woman within an oppressive society. I seek to discuss everything that attacks us, is imposed on us, and is uncomfortable. We are not only moved by the beauty, but the ugly and the grotesque also inspire us. Humans are made of light and shadow. Talking about pain is just as important as talking about joy. It can be upsetting and uncomfortable, but it's liberating. I'm currently working with Fine Art, looking for unique images that speak to specific themes and with the construction of broader and deeper projects that will socially relate to my surroundings.”

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