Unfold, my skin, slowly. Until time becomes invisible. Only then, can I begin to tell you the stories of my skin, of entangled things. Unfold, my skin, slowly. Until you reach the bare bones of things. When you reach the African dust that has gathered in the folds, forgotten, hidden, reach deeper still, and we can begin.
Fragile scarred skin covers the memories of entwined things. Bodies that have become vessels for interlaced narratives, unraveled, revealed. If you follow the lines of the folds with your fingertips, closely, delicately, you can almost feel the vibrations of the sounds of the warm wind blowing through the fields at harvest time. You might just feel the memory of the last drops of summer rain that fed the grains embedded in the fibers of the cloth. Listen to the voices of the things that grew, that made, that became. They tell stories of germination, transformation and decay; they turned the sunlight in their bones to stone, fossilized memories of vibrant life.
There is an inexhaustible tension between weft and grain, between the human and non human, webbing of emotional elasticity as I map the entangled memories of territories and matter. The cloth of things can be torn, the skin of things can be stretched too thin.
“Every nonhuman body shares with every human body a cognitive nature (and thus a “virtue” appropriate to its material configuration). Conatus names a power present in every body: ”Any thing whatsoever, whether it be more perfect or less perfect, will always be able to persist in existing with the same force whereby it begins to exist, so that in this respect all things are equal”
Through my work, I consider the traces of trade routes, displacement of materials and bodies, of colonialism, consumerism, and the fossils of patriarchal ideas. Of the emptied out remains, the unfolded shells of things that once contained life. Memories of territories, of organic and inorganic entities, embedded with traces of time, decaying fragments of the past that continue to inform my future. A map of South-Africa, the Cape of Good Hope, a skin covered by single use items, and empty shells of promises. A shipwreck, a carcass slaughtered for ivory, suspended temporality. A body bare to the bone. Skin as a shell, a vessel, unfolded, unclothed, revealing the fragility of vitality.
I am thinking of caring, of mummification, wrapping the body slowly, meticulously in linen cloth, so that the skin will not decay. Coincidentally, the same action of wrapping cloth is used when bandaging wounds, to call on the power of regeneration of the body. I am thinking about flux, circularity and interconnectivity, considering the agency of not human matter and particles.