Marco Donnarumma
I Am Your Body

by Marco Donnarumma


»Since being diagnosed, ten years ago, with a degenerative condition that is making me increasingly deaf, I've been reflecting intensively on the inescapable multiplicity of one's perception, embodiment, identity. I pondered, of course, also about how my artistic work could respond to such a earthly, factual matter as a drastic bodily change and the inevitability of everything that comes with it.

Curiously enough, even before this life shift, my artistic and research practice had been based on ideas from posthuman theory, critical disability studies, sound studies and unorthodox approaches to somatics and prosthetics. I like to manipulate bodies through technology and to push them to their boundaries and learn from what happens there. I'll never know whether my body was trying to tell me something, as I nurtured these interests. 

Fact is, I was born as a hearing person, or at least I always thought so and behaved as such (but this, too, may not be the whole truth. I may have always had this condition, doctors are unable to say). This means privilege. I lived in the hearing world, a world that - as my fellow d/Deaf collaborators for I Am Your Body always say - it's entirely disconnected from and uninterested in the world of deafness. For this reason, at the onset of the project I understood I did not want to, and could not, make a claim to deafness by myself, and that's why I chose to work with others, d/Deaf and hard of hearing people. The voice of the project shall be the communal voice of a group that can embody the multiplicity of corporeal knowledge at the edge of the so called »normal« world of experience.

Working with our group for the past 5 months has been a precious and incredibly rich experience of generosity, curiosity, complex communication and ethical conundrums. Challenging, and incredibly rewarding. And yet, I feel like I'm barely scratching the surface. Below it lies a whole world of unknown perception, movements and ideas, waiting to unfold.« 

Text by Marco Donnarumma

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