Monday, February 11, 2013

Ephemeral Skin by Julie Clarke

Ephemeral Skin

When we view our own bodies, rather than perceiving it holistically as others do, we see it in fragments. Our hand holding a pen and a thumb and part of our other hand visible as we hold the book in which we write. Often, in the looking and subsequent consciousness of our partial bodies we become conscious of smooth or rough areas of skin, surfaces blemishes and plump soft blue veins running beneath a translucent surface. The ridges and crevices, soft mounds, gentle undulations, bones and joints crisscrossed with furrows through persistent movement or areas red with inflammation; the partial body appears as an alien but familiar landscape that arrests our view. With this in mind and being painfully aware that I was ageing, I embarked on a surveillance of my bodily surface, a photographic and forensic investigation of an imperceptible transformation, an image of the self as exterior plane, not the self of thought, but one related to membrane, not wrapped around a frame, but laid horizontal and bare. A cartography or mapping in which discrete photographs of fragments might suggest something other than the bodily parts initially captured and a desire to see. The work is simultaneously document and self-portrait depicting the ephemeral skin, but since it does not reveal the identity of the artist, the skin could be from any body, thus universalizing the imagery. By revealing the folds and surfaces of the body, its incompleteness, its imperfect state, the artist invites the viewer to enter a plane of intensity of the flattened body, rendered greater than before, moving towards infinity and immanence.

Julie Clarke 2013

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