Sloughing slits

by Felipe Meres

 

Thin metallic rods penetrate the body in search of material truths. Holes are probed. When the rods are removed, warm and viscous fluids are expelled from the cavity and drizzle down the skin. A leaky body insistently held together by provisional splints. [Flash lights go off, a first measurement is taken.]

 

25 pounds. Grasp the straight bar with a narrow grip. Extend the arms as you flex your triceps and release the flash trigger. Hold the contraction for a second until the lights bounce back. Another measuring cut, two actions, one move. Slowly go back to the starting position. Repeat until muscular exhaustion. The warmth on the back of your neck is an image of your progress.

 

The cavity of the mouth is pried open by a circular oil-based plastic device. A chunky bright liquid invades the throat as it swallows. Fenugreek extracts, cow’s milk protein powders, synthetic hormones in gel forms and other ergogenic agents are derived from the scientific desire of working nature out. Ideals of separation quiver as the boundaries of bodies become increasingly harder to set apart. The outside is continually sucked in, then metabolized as part of the inside, just as the inside is expelled by the longing to become more or less human at any cost. Measuring the body is now the practice of pleasure, not only of science. The truth of the body is extruded by repeated acts of self-inspection.

 

Rearrange your shoulders, flip the mechanism on its back. Mount it. Feel the boundaries of your skin shifting as viscous warm fluids drizzle down your legs. Another boundary is traced, another photograph taken from you. There is uncontrollable desire in the eyes that observe you. Objectivity is always already laced with lust.

 

Once the parameters of the experiment have been arranged, once the folding and unfolding of the gymnasium through the scientific lab is stabilized, we can explore the roles developed by the instruments and bodies that at once constitute the workout and are produced as its outcome. The chemical make-up of certain elements is presented as an index of the measurement. Reactions between metallic inkjet paper and protein powders, pre-workout supplements and testosterone in gel form are embodied in sensitive test strips. The intricate procedure of separation that material-images go through in the process of becoming is framed under the probe.

 

In the experimental arrangement for making sense of bodily matters, both the objects of study and the instruments deployed for the measurement are to a certain extent indeterminate before the actual measurement. Light, cameras, human bodies, planarians, diffractive surfaces, sex hormones, plant extracts, metallic structures, magnets, agar-agar, silicone, rubber and silk are entangled entities. Their discrete natures and boundaries are not set from the start but become delimited as the outcome of the process. In one experiment, white planarians are splintered and reorganized in a spectrum of colors when placed in contact with a diffraction screen. Their essence as ever-regenerative and hermaphroditic beings is revealed when the boundaries of their bodies are penetrated by light. The enactment of the incision is one of the main modes of reproduction in planarians. Out of the self-inflicted fissure two new planarians come into being - the previous one cuts itself together-apart into two intertwined entities. Wave-like and/or particle-like, light’s nature succeeds in forcing its way through the boundaries of all present bodies and in reconfiguring them. The experiment was always already in place, but it begins anew when all participants forget who they are.

 

Radiant metallic sheets bounce light around - amidst reflections and diffractions, images become visible. Nature appears to deconstruct itself through a mouth that drools its own borders. Another cut, indeterminacy becomes uncertainty, spacetime folds through high energymatter. Patterns of difference appear as the act comes to a halt. Bodily fluids splatter against the floor, shivering constellations appear. Silicone embodiments enfold watermelon protein powder, testosterone and inkjet pigments on silk. Boundaries are traced. A seedy odor pervades the air as a lively memory of the process.

 

 

 

Testosterone booster takes GNC by storm, 2014

Inkjet print on pearl paper

43.18 x 55.88 cm

True strength, 2014

Inkjet pigments, Pro tanning spray, muscle sheen competition gel,   pre-workout powder on metallic paper

59.69 x 7.62 cm

EffusaElegans, 2016

Inkjet print on silk, protein powder, synthetic testosterone, silicone rubber, foam sheath, aluminum bar, hardware

129.54 x 182.88 x 12.7 cm

SliTSLi, 2016

Diffraction gratings, rare earth magnets

66.04 x 12.7 cm

Fsision, 2015

HD video, 24:18

Fsision, Company Gallery, NY, 2016 (solo exhibition)

Installation view

SliTSLi, 2016

Diffraction gratings, rare earth magnets

Farms, 2014

Inkjet print on pearl paper, container, protein powder, water

22.86 x 76.2 x 101.6 cm

Thermophilic, 2015

Inkjet print on metallic paper, aluminum

167.64 x 111.76 cm

Baubau Brasiliensis (rubber incision), 2015

Inkjet print on metallic paper, aluminum

167.64 x 111.76 cm

Scivation Psycho, 2014

Inkjet pigments, Pro tanning spray, muscle sheen competition gel,  pre-workout powder on metallic paper

59.69 x 12.7 cm

Fsision, 2015

HD video, 24:18

Fsision, 2015

HD video, 24:18

Improvisa Transcaucasica (t0), 2016

Protein powder, synthetic testosterone, silicone rubber, powder coated steel, rare earth magnets

52.07 x 35.56 x 2.54 cm

Fsion, 2015

Protein powders, silicone rubber, epoxy resin

10.16 x 38.1 x 25.4 cm

Fsision, Company Gallery, NY, 2016 (solo exhibition)

Installation view

Improvisa Transcaucasica (t3), 2016

Protein powder, synthetic testosterone, silicone rubber, powder coated steel, rare earth magnets

52.07 x 35.56 x 2.54 cm