Opening the exhibition I
performe a work titled "RISE", in collaboration with musician Peaches (Merrill
Nisker). As Merrill plays minimal frequencies and beats on her MC - 505
(an electronic computer/beat box), I casually take off my clothes. Then
I walk into the hair installation, "CAREFUL" and begin to draw on my body.
I scratch my skin using only my fingernails and due to a skin condition
I have (dermagraphia) the scratches rise up into welts...thus I create
temporary welt drawings on my body. From my feet and up my legs, I render
vines and leaves. The leaves grow more profuse on my thighs and burst into
flowers on my pelvis and up to my shoulders. The design is remenisent of
When the drawing is done, I raise my arms up into the air as the welts
begin to bloom into the flowers I have drawn. I continue to hold my arms
up for approximately 1/2 hour, and as I loose muscle control my arms involutarily
move to the improvised music. I make a point of looking each of the viewers
in the eye and I draw energry from them to keep going.
Actually, Hamburg was one
of the best audiences, for their energy. When it seems time to end the
piece, I walk back to Merrill, and my clothes...and get dressed.
The hair installation that
I perform in uses hair found in public places. A large square is defined
on the ground using three strips of carpet. The inner strip is a darker
flesh colour and in a little longer than the outer strips. I have filled
the space defined by the outer strips of carpet with the found hair. I
tie individual hairs together to create long strands.
Hundreds of these delicate
strands reach from floor to ceiling, to occupy the space of the outer carpet...leaving
a pathway in the middle. The viewer walks through the path experiencing
the powerful delicacy of the hair. Also this is the space in which I perform
"RISE". This installation is very difficult to document as the hair are
very subtle and alittle difficult to see.
Another part of SOLID are
photographs of temporary welt drawings and photographs of my work >I
AM EXTREMLY RATIONAL<. Here, my skin has been used as a site to
sew. Using as thread human hair that I find discarded in public places,
I have sewn letters into my body. Each letter becomes a photograph that
together spell the title, " I AM EXTREMELY RATIONAL" . A couple of quotes
from the exhibition brochure of a previous show at Mercer
Union (Toronto), by Ken Hayes and Kym Pruesse, are as follows; "Reading
"I AM EXTREMELY RATIONAL," leaves one feeling a queasy unease that is the
opposite of reason's certitude," and "the artist is as intent on expressing
the structural condition of having a meaning as on expressing the meaning's
specific content. The work sits on the edge of pronouncement -pointing
to the idea of the hidden, speaking about the pleasure and horror of not
being in language, of not having words."