Male IEU 29.11.16 and 06.12.16 Colonising the body

Jonathan Armour led this meeting of the Unit.

It occurred to me that most of the members of Male IEU, including me, are products of colonial activity around the world, in most part by Britain.

In this session, we are re-engaging with the social context for our work, to examine again the connect between the body and territory, the surface as skin or as the terrain of a country. A terrain for exploration, cartography, taking possession and then exploitation.

We are initially treating the body as a terra nullius, an empty territory. To signify that we are covering the skin of our model with a white coverall, thus blanking off all the history and culture of that terrain. The pose is reminiscent of Vitruvian Man which was a device to measure and codify the dimensions of man.

Each of the artists then choses their plot of land, and that is cut out of the whole. This process is repeated three times until little of the original surface is left unpossessed.

On each possessed plot, the new owner (artist) creates something in response to the situation.

Once the artists have made their marks on all the plots, they are added back onto the terrain. The result is a body which combines the new marked territories with what was there before, much of that lurking below the surface of the new territories.

On the second week, the completed territory was examined in further drawings.


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