The work Summer of ’82 was made specially for a group show that was part of a series of satellite programmes which were organised to celebrate the first gay pride in Porto in 2001 and that included lectures, exhibitions and debates. Artists from Porto were invited by the organisation to show works that investigate the theme of sexuality in the broadest sense of the term. The artist decided to develop a new work that dealt with the, especially in that timeframe and in catholic Portugal, highly controversial topic of childhood sexuality and sexual development, both mental and physical. The artist disagreed with the then socially accepted assumption that children were asexual beings and believed that the taboo that surrounded the issue was the repressive result of a strong Judeo-Christian cultural background.
The artist selected a picture taken of her by her mother when she was approximately eight years old. On the back of the photograph her mother had written: ‘Summer of ’82. Walk in the mountains’. The artist then proceeded and bought a skirt similar to the one she was wearing in the picture as a child and a pair of white panties and shaved herself all over. The artist then revisited the place in the mountains where the original picture was taken and where she remembered she had masturbated as a child. The artist re-enacted the masturbation scene while taking pictures of herself. In this sense the work not only depicts the sexual consciousness of a child, but can also be read as a re-appropriation of a sexual memory that was stolen from her by suffocating social morals. The work was very well received and widely discussed in many newspapers and magazines.
Paper printing 1.60m x 0.50m