Skin as a membrane or border has been a reappearing theme throughout Hofmann’s practice and the present exhibition investigates its... Read More
Skin as a membrane or border has been a reappearing theme throughout Hofmann’s practice and the present exhibition investigates its aesthetic, somatic and symbolical layers. Skin is seen as a semi-translucent membrane, both dividing the bodily self from the rest of the world, and providing access to it; a sphere of the most intimate contact, letting the environmental elements enter the body, holding the body together and yet being so vulnerable to outer powers. Hofmann follows the rudimentary process of turning skin into leather—a commodity—alongside skin examinations and experiments. His new video piece obsessively exposes all these aspects through a degree of consciously mystifying, and consequently disturbing aestheticization and close-up inspection, typical for Hofmann’s artistic process.
Was it compassion, repulsion or attraction you felt at the tannery, where animal skin is being deprived of the rest of the once-alive being and turned into a commodity? Dead skin doesn’t itch anymore. I know it’s not solely the motif of violence, ethical boundaries or exploitation that made you connect those unnerving environments for the new video piece, but you probably cannot avoid others looking through this prism. Is it your personal battle with the skin, with your own immunity system, which you know works partly against you, that lay the grounds for this confrontation? Do you bite your audiences, leaving traces of your teeth on their wrists, in order to make them participate in your fight?
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