Political Skin

Inspired by performance art in the tradition of Marina Abramović, the 3 hour long procedure allows for audience members to cover the artists skin with liquid latex. As it dries the skin grows and in the end it is ripped off. Originally presented as an installation, the realization in person allowed for an additional layer of depth.


It became more of a study of people than I had anticipated. F.e. the odd air to the one sidedness of a stranger adding latex to my skin, knowing that it would be torn off later. Also, being surrounded by people who were concerned with my welfare even though some of them were pretty familiar with the circumstances of the performance. I came there knowing I am choosing to suffer in a certain way – which is more than what most people get anyway – it was easy to prepare and accept the inconvenience of not being able to move, of being exposed, of feeling cold. It was interesting to see others uncomfortable with this, my personal theory is that the viewers are aware of their part in the performance, the viewing without which it might as well not exist at all. So in a sense they know they are enabling this suffering, yet do not view it as a common effort to create a joined experience, instead they assume the familiar viewpoint of the viewer as receiver of pleasure, the artist being the one here to please. Now the identity of the viewer demands to be displayed in order to not be associated with taking direct pleasure out of someone elses suffering. The identity is reassured through this experience, not let go. Someone who dares to seize this situation, to add latex on someones back, to share the room with someone who is deliberately suffering, is instead freeing themselves of their own identity. The latter is what the artist works to invite – well, at least I do. And interestingly enough this exact problem is prevalent in music performance as well.