Skin Stories 1983

Small Walls Gallery NYC

To begin the performance, the thirty small dolls are dipped in white paint and hung the length of the wall. In the window of the storefront/gallery was a gauze skirt suspended over a small white chair, its legs balanced on the ends of four large knives with gray stones piled in the seat. This story is legible inside the skirt:

“According to Herodotus, the ancient Greek traveler, the Egyptian ruler Cheop found himself short of funds to build his pyramid, and in a desperate attempt to earn more he sent his daughter into the brothels with instructions to turn over her fees to him. His daughter felt that the memory of her efforts should be preserved. So in order to ensure a monument for herself, she required all her customers to bring stones in addition to her fee. From these stones she built herself a pyramid that far exceeded the splendor of her father’s.”

In Skin Stories I continue my exploration of the meeting of private and public imagery. I refer to skin as a place of transition. How we connect with our physical rhythm and how we behave when we lose those connections. How activities such as scarification can be a healthy and sacred act in some cultures yet in our culture it is often a symptom of mental disorder or disconnectedness. In short, how we use the display and decoration of our bodies or lack of it for self-dialogue and communication.