As the forced massive migration of Syrians disrupted once again the European indulgent self-image of the cradle of civilization, a humanist wave came out promising to counteract the effects of border policies -violently enforced upon fleeing populations- with patronizing intentions of hospitality. Following the analogy between geopolitical and bodily boundaries, I invited a group of witnesses to enter my body by crossing the anal border with their hands.
Gloves, lubricant and nailclippers were available. I took all my clothes off as I gave the instructions. The setting suggested that the expected action was the one known as fisting or fistfucking, so I stressed the technical character of the action. The door of the room was shut in order to prevent people from joining out of mere curiosity.
Five people participated beyond witnessing. The first one introduced her fist in my ass. The second one introduced two fingers. The third one cut my foot fingernails then left the room. The fourth one cut her fingernails, put on a glove and introduced a part of her hand. The fifth one cut some hair below my lower lip. Some more people left the room in the meantime. When the action was over, I stood up again, put my clothes on and told the witnesses: “This is Europe. Thank you very much.” As was the case with previous actions, there was an ovation that could be understood as unwillingly mistaking the action for a show. Applauding after a performance allows the witness to take a certain distance and emotional disengagement from it, and it is arguably a subtle form of depoliticizing it.
The “Europa” series of pictures by Toni Payan accompanied the “velvet teaser”.