Zones of Invisibility (Holy Body Bag)

Installation, 2021

(as Hexus Collective). Chronic mental and physical illness(es) are those various body and mind experiences rarely seen in public but which are always present. Individuals with these conditions undergo painful sensations that regularly call for constant care and dependency on self, partners, and technology. With this in mind, the artists ruminate on the “invisibility of chronic illness” by highlighting physicality, spirituality, and dimensionality, and the ways in which those with invisible illnesses experience reality.

The installation demonstrates this idea by using layers or “zones” combined to form a whole. The use of “zone” comes from Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1979 Stalker, a film featuring an unnamed place at an unspecified time where three characters travel to a fiercely protected post-apocalyptic wasteland only known as “The Zone.” While Tarkovsky claims The Zone symbolizes nothing but “a zone,” Hexus finds meaning in the term as a blurring between mass, time, and space, which is crucial to understanding the physicality, spirituality, and dimensionality of crip conditions. In other words, “zone(s)” are synonymous with the constant movement of sick bodies and minds through time and space. With the two mirrors behind the photographic and sculptural figures, the artists address dimensionality: a realm that reflects mass, time, and space but in a continuum of movement. In addition, as viewers look upon the sick spiritual and physical figures, they are forced to simultaneously look upon themselves in a cycle of seeing and being seen.

image documentation courtesy of Todd Edward Herman

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Boulder Weekly

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