Gestures of Demarcation, 2001, Six C-Prints

‘Gestures of Demarcation’ are a set of 6 large-scale panoramic colour photographs that use performative strategies to explore physical limits and boundaries of the body. The images record an act, in which various anonymous participants are instructed to extend the skin of the artist’s upper body as far as possible. The gesture hovers between aggression and power on the one hand and a sense of trust and complicity on the other. While clearly initiated by the artist, it is left to each participant to choose how and where to enact this gesture. Hence, agency and responsibility for the act is placed upon the collaborator – and by extension their choice affects the very tension central to the composition. Each of the gestures is set against a backdrop of urban, suburban or rural landscape, enacting a formal relation between figure and environment.