In Join, I use fabric structures that attach my body to the bodies of other women to explore six formative relationships. These garments, which are strongly reminiscent of prosthetics and draw from medical studies of conjoined twins, place me in a position with another woman that constricts movement and demands intense negotiation to complete even the simplest tasks. For each coupling the highly individual garment is designed to perfectly fit myself and the woman with whom I will be joined. Once we are securely bound together, we attempt several basic chores and tasks (such as getting in and out of bed or climbing stairs). Each of these different couplings is recorded on video. At the same time that each of these periods of attachment explores the intimacy and dynamic of my relationship with a particular woman, it also brings into focus the boundary that separates us and the ultimately solitary nature of individuality. As Rilke wrote in one of his letters, “A merging of two people is an impossibility… even between the closest people infinite distances exist.” With this project I am trying to explore the binary relationship between intimacy and individuality by blurring the boundary where one person ends and another begins.
Mason Gross School of the Arts Galleries, March 2003, New Brunswick, New Jersey