As part of the Tate Modern Museum’s April 2003 symposium on Live Art – on the work of performance artists like Guillermo Gomez-Peña, La Ribot, Ron Athey, and Marina Abromavic — Franko B staged “I Miss You!” in the London museum’s cavernous Turbine Hall. In this piece, naked, covered in white body paint, Franko walks down a long canvas aisle. He is lit up on either side from the floor by florescent tubes, and bleeds from calendulas in his arms that hold his veins open as he slowly and ceremoniously walks the length of the canvas towards a bank of photographers at its base. Blood pools at his feet at each end of the “catwalk,” where he stands before turning around and beginning his march again. The performance is structured to resemble a fashion show, and the blood splattered canvas Franko leaves in his wake is used to make unwearable, or at least, un-marketable haute-couture, to mummify household objects, and to make pocket-sized souvenir paintings. [Exerpt from Jennifer Doyle in: Critical Tears: Franko B’s “I Miss You”]
Franko B was born in Milan and has lived in London since 1979. He has been creating work across video, photography, performance, painting, installation, sculpture and mixed media since 1990. He has performed at the Tate Modern, ICA, South London Gallery and Beaconsfield.
This is what is disturbing about Franko B’s performance – not that he bleeds, but that in doing so he crosses a boundary, and carries us with him as he does so. He shifts questions about art and emotion to the audience, moving away from the self-reflexive representation of the artist’s emotional state, to the production of feelings themselves – a risky move if ever there was one, if only because he asks us directly if, and how, we plan to love him back.
By Jennifer Doyle in: Critical Tears: Franko B’s “I Miss You”