The Body is a Book
The Body is a Book 2000 Materials: charcoal on rice paper Dimensions: 22″X17″ I began with a question about the roots of language in the body. What has emerged is a series of images, as if each were a moment or a page, or even a letter, and as if movement itself created time, and perhaps meaning. I chose rice paper and willow charcoal for sensual reasons. They are simple, recalling early materials used to record the first written marks. The images were drawn on two separate panels of rice paper, right hand mapping the right side of the body, and left hand recording the left—the body being a series of sensations, not “me”, per se, but a body of experience. I began with a space between the two pieces of paper to acknowledge the empty space inside that cannot be traced. Ultimately, these drawings are the imprint of movement – not as expression, but as experience. Together, they also become a series of characters, each signifying a moment. These “characters”, unlike a grammatical language, present a non-literal as well as a non-narrative story. This also seems to speak of the internal life, which can go through a huge range of shapes, while the outward appearance looks suspiciously the same. The question of language seems to point to the act of drawing itself. Drawing illuminates and communicates directly; working visibly, it becomes a translator for anything non-visual. This is the beginning of a longer project investigating language and the body. Funded in part by the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation.