What vanishes and what stays
Updated: Mar 30
A month ago I had a great chance to have an interview with the founder of a blog and magazine Skin&Canvas – Philipp Marxen. Half way through we stumbled upon an interesting topic – transience of calligraphy on a human body. It dissapears very fast compared to art on a canvas that stays and the viewer can enjoy it for quite some time.
I took a moment to think. It always seemed to me that it is about the experience, and only about that. On the other hand, if no photos are taken, where is the added value?
Usually after every performance I talk to the model about it, and I am very interested in how she perceived it. I have some data from her, some from the audience, and the rest is mine.
1. Model’s insight
Mostly, it’s about enjoying the whole performance. Partially visual even afterwards, but also the process is interesting. The way she interacts with the artist, touch of the marker or brush and also not knowing what is being created on her body. That uncertainty is surely a major part of the experience. The model needs to trust the artist a great deal. It is not about her not liking what will be on the body. It is more about giving full responsibility to another person, which is not easy. And I am not even talking about trust when it is a nude calligraphy.
2. The audience
The audience is a vital part of the whole event. They don’t need to talk and I still receive feedback in real time. Every look, turn of a head, or just curious observation. And here comes another split for me. On one side the model has 100% of my attention, but I still feel the surroundings. Mathematicians would argue about the percentage, but that is how it is. Feedback from the audience after the performance is another great source of information.
The artist’s viewpoint is mixed. Apparently, I enjoy the creation itself. I love the cooperation with a model and, if the show is bigger, with the audience as well.
Three approaches for an art that disappears in a few hours. But the permanent art stays...
What do you think?
And as always – art on.