Performance art by Bonnie Bakeneko.
Dealing with themes of body horror, gender and trauma processing through ritualistic performances.
Your body is not a temple
'Your body is not a temple' is an act of body autonomy through self canibilisation by consuming my severed nipples, followed by stapling different flowers to my body. This was all captured by photographer Bonnie Baker and has been turned into an art photo book, prints and short video documentary. This can be found for sale on this site in the drop down menu.
Listen to me, your body is not a temple.
Temples can be destroyed and desecrated. Your body is a forest—thick canopies of maple trees and sweet scented wildflowers sprouting in the underwood.
You will grow back, over and over, no matter how badly you are devastated.
I hit puberty relatively late at the age of 14. Due to being anorexic at the time I didn’t develop properly and always hated my breasts and nipples. The internet wasn’t readily available then and I didn’t know anything about mammary glands, that I would be able to feel them under the skin or that they would be hard. I spent the longest time thinking I had cancer or that there was something very very wrong with me. This alongside body dysmorphia and depersonalisation left me with a very estranged relationship with my physical form.
As I grew older and started to understand more about my gender I realised I was non-binary. It started to feel increasingly unfair that my ‘female’ nipples were sexualised along side being demonised. I have never felt sexually or emotionally connected to that part of my body and I did not ever plan on becoming a mother. I didn’t like the way they looked or felt, I couldn’t find a reason for having them. This led me to search out someone who would surgically remove them for me. After researching and talking to both plastic surgeons and body modifiers I chose a body modifier who agreed to do it for me. Plastic surgeons had refused me and I felt that the body modification expert I went to was the absolute right person.
I spent a lot of time before hand making sure this was the absolute right thing. I mentally counted the reasons for and against and all the reason against were to do with what other people would think. You will never reach self acceptance if you live your life appeasing other people, you will never truly become your self. You have to do what is right by you and only you can decide what that is.
I thought a lot after having my nipples removed about what I wanted to do with them. I considered preserving them in some way, be that through tanning, wet preserve like formaldehyde or setting them in resin. Now of these really made sense to me. One of my issues with them was always that I didn't like the way they looked so I didn't want to them have them preserved like that forever. I also found the idea that they may essentially outlive me and become the property of another person really unsettling. I wanted to own them completely but in a transformative way where we both moved on together as one but changed. This is why I decided to eat them.
I am a vegan and haven't eaten meat in years. This I found interesting when people displayed disgust at the idea of me eating them. it wasn't harvested off an unwilling party, there was no pain or suffering, I knew exactly where they had been and what they had been through. We had been together my whole life. Ethically you cant do better then eating your own meat.
I never disliked the taste of meat, in fact I loved the taste of it but not the morality. I didn't feel any disgust about the idea of eating them except when considering cooing them which is why I decided to keep them raw. I just had a slight fear that I would become instinctively repulsed when I tried and maybe my body would reject it. In fact they tasted amazing, the closest thing I could use as an example of the taste would be rare steak. It just felt very natural and normal, it wasn't weird at all.
I feel honestly very proud of myself for doing this and happy with my choices and how I went about it. Body autonomy to this extreme has been so liberating and just a fuck you in the face of societal standards. I feel like I am my own self made animal and I love that animal. I am the beast I worship.
I scream for no one//I scream for satan
I SCREAM FOR SATAN // I SCREAM FOR NO ONE is a collective of minds bringing their essence into the format of 360 Videography. Each individual involved is making their mark on the medium to form a striking piece of abstract footage that features a specially written sound score by Robin Fencott (Metalogue).
The 360 videography serves to teleport into glimpses of our psyche, our emotions, our representations of ourselves, transcending the viewer into an immersive world of our design.
Videographer/director/editor: Bonnie Baker
Starring: Bonnie Baker ~insta @bonniemakespictures Bonnie Bakeneko ~insta @bakeneko_designs Belle Atrix ~insta @blood_spirit Drew Beckett ~insta @drewjbeckett Metaraph ~insta @metaraph_ Myriam Sarro Wolfe Chainz ~insta @wolfechainz
Soundtrack by Metalogue ~insta @metalogue www.metalogue.bandcamp.com
Still artworks: Belle Atrix Animations: Bonnie Baker
Fire walk with me
From since I can remember I have had problems with my mental health. As a child I regularly saw apparitions and visions and believed I was haunted when I was coming of age. All my childhood demons took flight from my vision to nestle into my head and became an ‘illness’. This illness crippled me for the longest time.
A miraculous thing started happening when I began to channel this force into art. Through mental alchemy i was able to turn these negatives into a weapon that i could wield for me instead of against me. This performance tells that journey.
Performed for Psychoward at Resistance art gallery
When I was a child I remember watching a video of a person giving birth for the first time and was horrified. When I asked my mother if it hurt she paused for a moment then said ‘no’.
Pregnancy has always been huge body horror for me. The idea of life growing inside you seems nauseatingly parasitic, then the idea that you have to push this thing out of your body into the world terrifies me. Equally terrifying is the notion that it is a ‘womans’ vocation in life to do this. The whole arbitrary set of roles for AFAB people hung around my neck like a noose.
I had my own volatile relationship with my mother and didn’t want to ever have a relationship like that again. Another thing that grieved me was the idea of passing on the mental illness I had suffered into this cruel and dying world. I do not like people. people scare me. I do not want to make more of them.
I am not a ‘mother’ to human children of my own but regardless I am a mother to creatures of the earth, just as I am a child of her myself.
Performed at PervArts exhibition at the old biscuit factory in front of ‘blood skirt’ by Amy Kingsmill.
Bakeneko Designs for Torture Garden
Bakeneko Designs performance/show at Torture Gardens 2018 March Ball at Electorwerkz.
My first time ever performing on stage
I come on stage leading Mike by a ribbon wrapped around two embellished cheeks spears. I throw him onto the stage, kick his legs out from under him them aggressively pull out the spears. He then drops to the stage as if dead. For the finale I have 'blood' pumped through tubes in my outfit causing it to 'bleed'. the show ends with me in a crucifixion pose before the music ends, lights drop and everyone exits the stage.