after bernini's beata ludovica
This private solo performance made in November 2014 is part of an ongoing series based on hybridizing forms of religious practice, be it Hindu yoga, muslim prayer, or Catholic devotion experienced through posture and breath, and contemporary fashion. Poses are held statically for the length of a pop song. Here the pose is inspired by Bernini's marble funerary monument of 1671 located in the Church of San Francesco a Ripa in Rome. Beata Ludovica Albertoni is depicted on a mattress in mystical communion with God, her head thrown back, grasping her chest, clothing in disarray. The actual body of Ludovica Albertoni is interred in a sarcophagus below the marble figure. In Hughes' version the live performer hits play on a free Soundcloud remix of Robyn's song about desire for consuming love..., places herself into a gaudy suitcase and assumes the bodily position of Beata Ludovica, allowing sunlight to dissolve her facial features, until the song ends. The work does not ultimately function as a parody of Bernini. If anything Bernini maintains a superior position as our complex precedent whom we imitate. The contemporary piece, in affinity with Bernini, arises out of a preoccupation with uncanniness of life/death and the mystery of internal states.