Me(n)tal Skin Cage 02, 2015
Performer’s body, paint on steel, plastic foam, rubber, casters and magnets
Cage 31” x 16” x 16”, two walking canes in various sizes
Video Length: 07:25
To see a trailer of this film, click here
All work and photographs © Yarli Allison
About the work
Staring from cage 01, Yarli creates restricted space with steel containing her body. Me(n)tal Skin Cage(s) are mainly about the recreation of enclosed universe that a person who was very close to her isolated him/herself in. As a child, she mirrored this reaction to the outer world. It became very natural to detach herself into small and private places to maintain a sense of peace. By entering these restricted spaces, she feels a mixture of comfort, security, and calm.
Similar to cage 01, the size and form of the cage is based on Yarli’s body dimension and gesture, as small as she could get. As a contrast, cage 02 is much more interactive with the surroundings rather than isolating. This time, she is not totally locked inside; it is possible to see through the blinds, reach out with her arms by controlling the ‘arm windows’ and roll around with ridiculously heavy ‘walking canes’ that she created. The ‘canes’ are attached with magnets and are very challenging to control with her position. Her goal is to obsessively and stubbornly search and pick up little scrap metals (or keys) that scattered randomly on the floor, hoarding them in her cage. By struggling with the difficult ‘canes’ with limited vision in the cage, she almost have no control of her own destinations, while having the strong desire to manipulate other things by repetitively removing pieces on the floor and compulsively collecting them until her body can no longer endure the physical pain.
(source: artist website)