Writing you a love e-mail in a hot Sunday afternoon: you reply with a flower made of my digital skin (2011) is a digital photo, made of two computer-assisted compositions. On the left we see a self-representation of the artist, naked, seating in her living room and interacting with a laptop. The skin of her body was intentionally removed from the picture and replaced with the picture’s background. On the right, the skin of the body is shown, having been cut down in little pieces and rearranged as a flower bouquet against the background. Above the bouquet we can read the sentence that titles the piece.
This work addresses the theme that most characterizes the artist’s work: representation of the female body, its relation with technology and the intimate relationship between image and spectator. On the left, the background works as a digital skin, revealing the technology behind body representation, at the same time constructing a formal picture of a naked “disappeared” female body. On the opposite side, to the right, her skin is transformed into data: the uncanny assemblage of a body in pieces – a body made of skin, nails, fingers and hair – deconstructs that erotic fetishized picture. Skin is also assumed in culture as a border between the self and the other. It is where body identity is formed and where boundary negotiations take place. Usually it reflects what is inside, “the self in the skin”. In this work, the self is not revealed by the skin; on the contrary, it is revealed by the foreground on left-side picture, the living room showed as the intimate space the artist inhabits (her personal objects, dust, etc).
This work is also questioning such dichotomies as foreground/background, subject/observer, brought about by the contrast between the shape of the body and the body itself, between the “I” and the represented subject.
Development, concept and production: Patrícia J. Reis