Edited By Leslie Boldt, Corrado Federici and Ernesto Virgulti
Part V. Body Language
12. The A/porias of Skin: Secrets and Secretions of Self and Other Mark Cauchi (with Wrik Mead and Rui Pimenta) Introductory Note The following essay was written as part of an artistic collaboration with art- ists Wrik Mead and Rui Pimenta. The total project—consisting of an essay, a video-art piece, and a sculptural installation—was intended to be ‘performed’ live in a venue. In an ongoing process, each of our contributions was con- stantly modified in response to the contributions of the others. Rui Pimenta created a large, synthetic, animal-like skin that was hung like a drape or a screen in our presentation venues, onto which was projected a video-art piece created by Wrik Mead, as well as images from the history of art and anatomy related to our theme. The essay, while employing the analytic tools of aca- demic writing, was deliberately written in an imagistic style and was intend- ed to work with the two art pieces toward creating a unified work. The pre- sent version of the essay remains largely consistent with the original, except that, to aid the reader’s sense of the whole, descriptions and analyses of Mead’s and Pimenta’s art pieces have been added, along with some images and expansions of some paragraphs. Skin, in itself, seems silent, dumb, brute, animal though inanimate, soul- less, breathless, dead, a corpse. The voice, in itself, seems to us very nearly the opposite. It is intangible, airy, breathy, respirating, inspiring, spirited, animating though not animal, human, linguistic,...
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