This installation explores the difficulty of visually representing an open body of flux and confusion. In mapping the body, one can schematize to the point of pure mathematical line, or one can get lost in the details and produce an image of excess and monstrosity. Regardless of its form, a representation influences how we imagine our interiors. It acts as a signifier, but in its failure to adequately signify the dynamic, becomes a body in and of itself: fluid, sensual, and odd.
There are limitless variations of the “healthy” body, just as there are limitless ways in which the body can go “astray.” The body is a dynamic fluid of half-solids and dark, formless jellies. One gelatinous “part” slides into and above and across the next. A tenuous membrane occupies a permeable space between the outside and the inside. What coherence can one give to the visual confusion of the body?
Some possibilities are: to focus on its minutiae (fragmenting the body into abstract, obsessive fixations); to reduce it to a universal scheme (approximating all of us but representing none); to reproduce it in compulsive detail (producing a map so textured and meticulous that it becomes a body with its own properties and incoherence); to catalogue it into specimens (assembling a body of irreconcilable individuality); to textualize it into a clinical poetry of linguistic signifiers.Whichever method used to represent its dynamic flux, the body’s irrevocable materiality makes abstract forms themselves corporeal. Each method of representation has its own fetishized, sensual materialism, whether it be ink pressed into the page; the translucence of paper; the mottled luster of wax models; the scrupulous structure of digital rendition; the textureless gloss of plastic reproductions; et cetera.Not only do representations of the body’s interiors become bodies themselves as replica fetishes, but they also replace the dynamic body. Representations fix the dynamic into a form. That fixed form produces our conception of the interior of the body by substituting for the confusion of jellies that we rarely ever see.The collective conceptualization of the body’s dynamic interior flux attempts to grasp all the abstract, unseen phenomena that affect our bodies: illness, emotion, rape, poverty, wealth, social constructions of race, gender, culture, et cetera. This piece is at once a contribution to and a critique of the history of the visual production of the body’s viscera. It is a simulation of both the interior of the body itself and the process of representing it.