THE POETICS OF SKIN

Sculptural video installation; photography.  2012-13.

A collaboration with sculptor Rosalyn Driscoll

To view images created by projecting video stills onto sculpture, click thumbnails below video.

 

A sculptural dance video installation exploring the boundaries of the body and the transformation of matter. Working back and forth between the human body and cattle skin (both wet and raw, and also dried as rawhide), Bliss and Driscoll layer flesh on flesh – dead and alive, flayed and intact – deconstructing presumed boundaries between one form of matter and another, and forefronting the seamlessness between material realities. 

The installation consists of three translucent dried rawhide cow skins arranged to receive a looping projection of a 10-minute video. The spaces between the hides create disjunctions between the projected images of bodies, which fragment and multiply as they fall on the successive hides. The projected figures are roughly life-size. Viewers can walk around and among the three hides, thereby creating continuously shifting spatial and contextual relationships. The body of the viewer physically entering the installation provides yet another skin to receive the video. The projected images fall on the surfaces of the hides, but are also transmitted through the amber-colored skin, allowing one to see the video on both sides of a hide, creating subtly different qualities on each side, and multiplying the permutations.

Choreography: Sarah Bliss
Dance: Sarah Bliss and Woody Bliss
Camera, editing and production of projected video: Sarah Bliss
Sculpture: Rosalyn Driscoll
Sound: Parallel_41 (Julia Kent: cello, looping, effects; Barbara De Dominicis: voice, field recordings, electronics). CD and DVD published by Baskaru. Written, played and mixed by De Dominicis and Kent. Mastered by Lawrence English.
Installation architecture: Bliss and Driscoll
Camera, editing and production of video documentation: Sarah Bliss

Rosalyn Driscoll: rosalyndriscoll.com/
Parallel_41: par4llel.org/
Baskaru: baskaru.com/

Screening history
2013     Video by Night. Creon Gallery. New York, NY
2013     Fridge Art Fair Miami. Miami, FL
2013     Esalen Arts Center, Esalen Institute. Big Sur, CA