knucklebones (jacks)


Knucklebones (provisionally), 1999-2003. This environement consists of 5 volumes of similar shape, arranged on the ground, each on a different side. Individually each piece of art measures 290x220x180 cm and occupies a total ground surface of 300 to 500 m2. The whole construction forms a network of folded patchworks composed of X-ray photographies (50 m2 each), of mastic, carbon, aluminum, stainless steel, PVC, adhesive film. Indoors-takedown device only. The project is endowed by: the FRAC and the DRAC Alsace, Degraf, Illbruck, Photomeca, Colomag and the Université Marc Bloch, Arts Department . Video: 3’20”.

X-ray photography poses several problems. The fact is that it is not so easy to see your skeleton on an X-ray. If you light the plastic sheet from behind it appears transparent, somewhat lackluster, and so does your skeleton. Flooded with natural light on its top surface, it becomes opaque and shiny, so much so that the skeleton on the X-ray acquires flattering highlights. From a psychological point of view, an X-ray delivers a reductive image which may be difficult to accept. It clearly refutes any embodiment, and even if your name is mentioned, somebody else could certainly identify with this image. If you add the iridescence of the medical device to the sword of the diagnosis, topped off by a touch of anxiety, an X-ray could well be an icon that stands for everything you have ever concealed from others. It soothes away reality, a reality that slips from your hands while you feel your existence is a little different each time, because this blue shape floating in a transparent bubble tells you so…
This work is composed of five volumes, and therefore enables repeating the experience of the “modified presence” of the human being at different levels leaving the usual context of the X-ray aside to confront it with the third dimension again. Everyone can sense the ambiguity conveyed by X-ray imagery, as well as the detachment it involves to analyze them, if only moving between knucklebones, with which we can’t really play anymore, could make it real.