I Am Cos (2016) HD video, 12:34 min.
I AM COS is part of a series of works that engage with cosplay culture, a form of fan culture originating from Japan, where fans transform themselves into characters from Anime and computer games. Cosplay is a global phenomenon based on the shift from virtual identities and avatars towards forms of corporeal identification - from mediated towards material subjectification. In I am Cos, Axel Stockburger engages with the cosplay scene in Sao Paulo’s Liberdade quarter, where these costumes are an important part of the public space. The artist has designed a costume for a fictive character, which is based on the urban design of Liberdade, and especially refers to the symbolic links of Japanese migrants towards their origins, that are presented in this part of the city. The costume was realized by Oficina de Costura, Nicolle, a well known costume maker, that resides in the Sogo Plaza Shopping Center. The process of production, as well as the costume maker herself, who has been working in this context since considerable time, is a central element of the work. Subsequently, the artist wore the costume and presented it in public in Liberdade. I am Cos reflects on the complex web of identity formations that emerge from the confrontation of a territorial, national logic of migratory subjectification with that of global narrative Universes, which can be chosen at will.
commissioned by Tobi Meier and Fernando Ticoulat
concept/camera/editing: Axel Stockburger
additionnal camera: Brishty Alam
production: Luciana Mugayar
translation: Natalie Brunner
interview partner: Nilza Maria Sborz
Deborah Cardinalli, Ozelita Paivia, Lenilda dos Santos Pereira
Brishty Alam, Nicolle Officina de Costura
Tofiq House Sao Paulo
funded by Bundeskanzleramt Österreich