IMMERSE

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Embroidery Thread, Steel
Picture taken at the threshold of a weight-endurance performance.
2008


The skins I produce help me reexamine my relationship with my own body as a female form and exploit sexual versus non-sexual movement. I discover the limits to human strength through endurance of physical pain and weight. The pressure can either come from my body weight or the weight of a heavy material such as steel or iron. Many of my ephemeral body performances result in a loss of control of my body movement, creating an even more acute sense of vulnerability. I have the audacity, or courage, to show the body as a source of varying emotive power. A transformation is apparent in many of my video documentation through a series of submerging and emerging acts. Becoming voluntarily exposed creates multiple levels of tension between the viewer and performer. The inability to ‘help’ me at my most vulnerable state and within high-endurance situations creates empathy within the viewer.
It is crucial to reach the threshold in each one of my pieces to show the physical and mental resist. Directly before the breaking-point occurs, my muscles start to tremor and I begin to sweat from holding my body at a high tension for such a long period of time. The sound of my breathing increases the anxiety within myself and the audience and also becomes a tool I use to reach a meditative state to get through the piece. The emerging out of the skin material becomes that much more dramatic when the threshold is met. There is an unspoken invisible line that the viewer never crosses on all sides of the performance. Although this line is never formally established, it always is present. This is a physical representation of the recognized disconnect and helplessness between the performer and the spectator.
Overcoming all these restrictions is empowering for me and a spectacle for those who witness the feat. I’m trying to survive my own history using my art as a way to record and advance that survival. I no longer have to carry it inside me like a burden.