Ekphrasis (elastic screen, servomotor, string, metallic frame, wooden structure, Arduino microcontroller, custom software, projector) is a mixed-media installation consisting of close-up videos of a heavily scarred body projected onto an elastic screen. The screen has one string attached to its centre, which in turn is attached to a stepper motor. The motor pulls the screen in a controlled random pattern, stretching it and letting go, sometimes carefully, sometimes violently. The rectangular screen is framed by a custom metallic frame, which resonates with the black and white projected videos. A wooden structure supports the stepper motor hiding the electronics and the projector in its base.
The piece proposes a reflection on the representation of the human body, from the representation itself, in addition to reflecting on the philosophical significance of the body. The work explores the relationship between the digital representation of the body and its corporeity.
Death can be thought of as the ultimate postmodern taboo. We live lives constantly sparkled, seasoned by fantasies of immortality, and yet systematically determined by the assumption of mortality. In this context, the body unfolds in a contradictory fetishism: the idolization of the perfect body coexists with the stigmatization of the imperfect one, and the most imperfect body is the scarred one, a body that is marked, representing a life not lived properly.
A heavily scarred body is shown, not as a reminder of mortality, but only as a body: the body as a metaphor of the body itself. The most human body is the non-human body: technologically mediated perception as objectification.
In the same sense, a body with scars presents itself in a dual time. Scars constitute simultaneously an artificial representation of a past event and a natural occurrence. In Difference and Repetition, Gilles Deleuze states:
A scar is the sign not of a past wound but of ‘the present fact of having been wounded’: we can say that it is the contemplation of the wound, that it contracts all the instants which separate us from it into a living present. Or, rather, that we find here the true meaning of the distinction between natural and artificial: natural signs are signs founded upon passive synthesis; they are signs of the present, referring to the present in which they signify. Artificial signs, by contrast, are those which refer to the past or the future as distinct dimensions of the present, dimensions on which the present might in turn depend. Artificial signs imply active synthesis – that is to say, the passage from spontaneous imagination to the active faculties of reflective representation, memory and intelligence. […] There is a self wherever a furtive contemplation has been established, whenever a contracting machine capable of drawing a difference from repetition functions somewhere. The self does not undergo modifications, it is itself a modification – this term designating precisely the difference drawn. Finally, one is only what one has: here, being is formed or the passive self is, by having