There is a proverb commonly used in my native country: To be between the core of a tree and its bark. This alludes to being torn between two forces. Our consciousness is neither fully inside our ‘core’ (the biological body), nor is it completely outside of that core. We communicate with ourselves from the vantage point of looking at our exterior representation as much as we feel our internal body. Instead of concerning ourselves with the bacterial growth inside our stomach, when we feel sick we look at our tormented face in a mirror to reveal the signs of our sickness. In Fascia, I attempt to fuse the bark with the core.
I have built a chair for the specific purpose of filming a variety of facial configurations. These are not facial expressions, although they may resemble some. More than simply mimic conventional expressions (such as a smile to express contentment, or raised eyebrows to express surprise) I am interested in showing how the conventional becomes caricature (such as an overly droopy lower lip or enlarged and protruding ears). I designed and had various metal devices made for me. These contraptions attach to the chair and literally force my face into fixed expressions. After filming one face, I make the video recording transparent. I then cut it into one-minute sections and layer these sections on top of each other. In this way, a one-minute video shows 60 minutes of video simultaneously. Because I am held into poses for 60-minute filming sessions, I physically exhaust myself as parts of my face must stay fixed. My face ironically looses any one identifiable expression. Instead, these faces transform what we consider to be meaningful expressions (authentic ones) into constructed poses that in turn dissolve into grimaces.