SKINSTRAP

2014 / Performance / Interactive

Performance vidéo – 35′ or 45’ –  Théâtre de la Balsamine
Music : Gauthier Keyaerts ; as artists in résidence à La Saline Royale
Co-production : La Balsamine.
Voice-over in French or English
Subtitles in:  English, Flemish, Portuguese, Spanish
Laureat of the Japan Media Art Festival 2013

Self-fiction on the skin. Thomas Israel’s body becomes a screen. A universal history of colours unfolds there, an exploration of the artist’s fantasies, anguish and hopes.

In Skinstrap, Thomas Israel uses his body as a screen to unveal the universal story of color, followed by a self- fiction narrative projected directly on the skin.  The themes of the artist – such as body memory, the unconscious, relation to time – are poetically approached in this unique setting.
Referring to the long artistic history of the “landscape-Man” and of the anthropomorphic landscapes, he pushes it forward, thanks to today’s interactive techniques of body-mapping. The original spacialized music by Keyaerts Gauthier, long-time collaborator of the artist, adds a degree of immersion in this “inner-dive” into a complex and engaging psyche, guided by the warm voice of the artist. Synchronized with the release of ” Memento Body ,” the first monograph book of Thomas Israel, Skinstrap summarizes and revisits 10 years of life through artistic creation.

Skinstrap is laureat of the prestigious Japan Media Art Festival Award 2013.

«Inside my body: a cave. On its walls, drawings, scribbles, scraps of text, ancient historical relics.»

« Your anthropometries persist in me, I remember exactly the form of your breast in my hand, the size of our two bodies in relation to each other.»

In Thomas Israël’s interactive works, the illusions of performance, fantastic apparitions, the effects of simulation and cinema, all of the ambushes of the visible and the credible operate in accordance with the same principle of duplicity: the more the spectator becomes aware of the illusion, the more he wants to be taken in. The artist incessantly plays the cards of belief and doubt, from one installation to the next. His works hinge on the reversibility of the gesture of revealing and hiding. They are evasive whilst at the same time offering themselves to be taken. The indocility is inseparable from the enchantment. They induce a void which unceasingly excavates representations, whose depth is equal to our own inconstancy in the face of the images. More than any other, Thomas Israël’s art nurtures the secret hope of achieving the utopia of an image to become real through the intermediary of its “inter-actor”. His works profoundly tests the spectator’s duplicity, who recognises the illusion but believes in it as much as in the object itself.

(more information and demo on demend)

- Régis Cotentin (curateur Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille): ``inter-acteur`` in Memento Body, la lettre volée, 2013 -

more information, technical ride and video demo on demand