Caitlin Berrigan is an interdisciplinary media artist in video, sculpture, performance, and interactive art. Her pieces have been called disturbing, sexy, and even smelly. Inspired by the history of science and pop culture, Berrigan’s provocative works address the ruptures and confluences of the body’s grotesque form, its medicalization, and its many variations as object of desire. The results are quietly disturbing works of subtle humour and irony that belie our violent and conflicted relationship to the body.
The installation “La Specola: medical examination & archetypes of the vagina dentata” (2004) employs video narratives, surveillance cameras and a computerized, 3D interactive vagina to address the mingling of myth and medicine in gynecology. Jiggly, tactile latex sculptures and cloying beeswax panels position viewers’ bodies within the installation, provoking visceral responses to reveal our cultural conditioning to the abject, the pleasurable, and the taboo. The site-specific boutique in collaboration with Delphine Bacri, “À la peau confite” in Paris (2003), featured a five-foot marzipan tampon, erotic chocolates molded from her body, and a prosciutto dress sold off the body of a model by the slice; engaging consumer culture’s cannibalistic drive to devour the female body in media images. “c(h)arta” (2002) creates an immersive environment from 100 pounds of honey, video projection, and ink and beeswax drawings to address the peculiar process of fixing the body’s dynamic interior flux into visual representation.
Berrigan’s work has shown at the Kitchen in New York City, the L.A. Freewaves festival, Pilot TV and Women in the Director’s Chair in Chicago, the Waywood Gallery in Newcastle, and the Rencontres A3 festival in Paris, among other venues. A California native, she recently relocated to Brooklyn after living in France and Massachusetts.