Blooms, Efflorescence, and Other Dermatological Embellishments (Cystic Acne, Back) 2009

Blog post
Published: 26.01.2010
Broes van Iterson

Jewelry is a personal business. That is one of the things that I like so much about it. It is meant to be worn, so you need to get close to it, so close it touches you. And sometimes you have to be brave for that.

That is the case with this body piece by Lauren Kalman. She is brave. She is interested in the imaged body, consumer culture, body aesthetics, and illness. She uses the personal closeness of the body for her work.

In this piece, she has replaced cystic acne with traditional jewelry. From a distance it still looks like a severe case of acne and I am quite repelled by that. From up close it shows that it is not acne, but jewelry and I feel relieved. Even closer, it becomes clear that the jewels are pierced trough the skin with acupuncture needles. That makes me feel uneasy at the least, but I also want to touch them. I am not sure if I want take them all out, or if I want to make sure they stay in place; this is what makes this work so intriguing. The fact that I can relate to the person wearing the, surely painful, body piece is exactly the point Lauren Kalman wants to make.

This artist is a member of apparat and Klimt02.

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