Despite the many humanitarian battles of nowadays, we have good reason to say that we do not care about each other. No matter the faces, the scars, the form of the eyes, we do not want to show ourselves as we really are. To connect with others in the everyday life, we prefer to use a secure and protecting cover, a bit like this: “https://” (Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol). May we name this a wish for anonymity? What would be the reaction of the passengers of a city, if they met every day somebody literally covered up, dressed in a second skin? Would they join the Different? What if He is the only one not having fun?
ERJEGphoto: Morten Stricker
Above the Skin is an artistic and urban action that move from this need: to meet in the urban space, to show ourselves naked and covered at the same time (to say it with an oxymoron) by a second skin.


Winner of research application of the Cité internationale des Arts in partnership with the City of Paris in 2015, artist of the human relationship, Giuseppe L. Bonifati investigates the contradiction between our society as a whole, unifying, standardising, concealing differences, and the sub-communities struggling to conserve their identities, their clothes, their uniforms, their customs and beliefs.  Between the Cité internationale des Arts, in the heart of Paris and La Fabrique des Pépinières in the suburban Montreuil, Giuseppe L. Bonifati found men and women from  all around the world. They intersected, coexisted, but did not seem to communicate. To generate possible encounters, Giuseppe developed a paradoxical approach, borrowing “a suit”: a version of Zentai that entirely covers the body from head to toe. A kind of synthetic skin which leaves no cues to identify the wearer. In this outfit, plunged into a situation of loneliness, Giuseppe was remaining in observation in different points of the city. The project of Giuseppe L. Bonifati resonates  with  this  formulation  of  the  philosopher of otherness,  Emmanuelle Levinas: « autrui est visage ».  (P. Bonnaffè, Les Pépinières Européennes)
Urban & Social Interferences

Action & Performance
“Marche contre la Deshumanisation et l’Indifference”

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After 10 km marching from Paris to Montreuil, the Artist buried his second skin in which he lived and created several encounters along 30 days.


In Hungary, suddenly one of Europe’s most anti-immigration nations with its planned border fence, it was hard to say at that time. Public opinion swung against the refugees in short time, when thousands of asylum seekers had entered Hungary. A poll in April 2015 showed that almost half of Hungarians classified themselves as anti-immigrant. The surge of xenophobia was boosted also by an explicit anti-immigration campaign from the government, displaying billboard messages in Hungarian which stirred up discriminative attitude. They featured slogans commanding to respect Hungarian culture and laws, and warning that “if you come to Hungary, you should not take Hungarians’ jobs”. Coming back to Budapest after the two months residency in Paris, this was the welcome… I therefore decided, as artist, to react by wrapping myself into a new black skin, as an immigrant. We may name this as an “act of civil disobedience” or better as an invitation to reflect on the otherness, more than ever so urgent in this country, as in all of the rest of Europe.

I felt the first symptoms already during the flight, after passing France. But the diagnosis came halfway, over the Central Eastern Alps...

I had already felt the first symptoms during the flight, passing over France. But the suspicion came halfway, over the Central Eastern Alps… “Am I about to become again a foreigner?”
My skin has become inexplicably darker, so I visited a specialist for a medical check. After several attempts to get on top of the problem, a hopeless diagnosis arrived: “You are a foreigner”. I am a foreigner, once again. What will be the treatment?”

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Actions & Social Interference
“March against Dehumanization & Indifference”

“Nem Magyar” (Non Hungarian) photo: Monika Fischbein

Magyar? (Hungarian) photo: Monika Fischbein



“Aesthetic, ethics and free will”

The project is  composed by a workshop, urban action & performance with local participants. Before the conclusive performance, the group produces several urban actions, walking through the streets of the city, interfering with the social routine and calling the attention of passengers.
“The Master of Ceremony is sitting at a long table, prepared with a special dinner for selected guests, locals and foreigners, those latters completely covered by second skin. In an unexpected moment, among them one turns to be an intruder: the one who is unalike even between the Different ones, who, under a second skin, will reveal a “third” one.  What will happen instead to the cover-up of the others?

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concept and performance by
Giuseppe L. Bonifati
Nicolas Hanny, Linda Sugataghy
Valentine Busquet, Tamas Loky
DOO performing arts group (IT)
Municipality of Paris, Cité internationale des Arts, La Fabrique des Pépinières (FR)
AQB (HU) / Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium, Abne Scene Godsbanen
AAPS Aarhus Produktionsskole (DK)
with the support of
MOVIN’UP I session 2015 promoted by:
Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism
General Directorate for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Suburbs
General Directorate for Performing Arts
and GAI – Association for the Circuit of the Young Italian Artists;
FUS  – Attività all´Estero 2015,  Direzione Generale Spettacolo;
CARAVAN NEXT – large scale European project (2015-2018)
may-june 15| Residence | Citè des Arts & Les Pepinieres | Paris, Montreuil (France)
july 15 | Residence 2 | AQB | Art Quarter Budapest (Hungary)
10-17 august 15 | Workshop 1 | NTL – Odin Teatret | Holstebro (Denmark)
18-26 august 15 | Workshop 2 | Åbne Scene – Godsbanen | Aarhus (Denmark)
27-28 august  15 | Performance | Aarhus Festuge (Denmark)
oct 15 | tour | Floripa Festival, SESC, Univ. Estado de Santa Catarina (Brazil)
21-23 march 16 | Workshop | Faculty of Arts, Kaposvar University (Hungary)
19-30 may 16 | Caravan NEXT European project, University of Turin (Italy)
13-18 november 16 | Caravan NEXT EU project, Escuela de Teatro Municipal de Ubeda (Spain)
5-10 december 16 | KIBLA | Maribor (Slovenia)
25-28 august 17 | National Arts & Culture Meeting | Mors (Denmark)
17-18 may 18 | Asylum Centers Holstebro, Vesthimmerland, Jammerbugt (DK)
2 feb 19 | NTL Festival, Odin Teatret | Holstebro (Denmark)
1 oct 20 | Institute for Communication and Culture – Dramaturgy, Aarhus University (DK)
9-10 oct | EUmergency project | Monar Babigoszcz (PL)
15-17 oct | EUmergency project | Kampus Hybersnka, Prague (CZ)
23-24 oct | EUmergency project | Nova Cvernovka, Bratislava (SK)