riel Sturchio

work in progress - new images coming soon

about & how-to

Here's some background on me, my practice, and my newest body of work skin prints. Wondering how these are made? Check out the video to learn more about this in-progress work, and the process of making a skin print.

skin prints is a collaborative project that offers a unique experience of bodily touch over distance. Open calls through social media offer collaborators the opportunity to receive free materials to create a print and share a corresponding story or sound file. Prints are then scanned and digitized for enlargement.

skin prints | background & statement

I started skin prints in 2014 as an attempt to offer a collaborative therapeutic release to my own and collaborator’s bodily trauma through the creation of print archives. As I re-engage with this project, its meanings have shifted due to the context of critical issues that affect us all; pandemic isolation, the need for universal healthcare, police brutality, and the Black Lives Matter movement. Now more than ever bodies are without touch, and Black and Brown people are disproportionately endangered by police brutality and systemic racism.

I am interested in taking the framework of Anthropocentric resilience to consider the taxonomy of the body as a way to promote shared understanding, and perspective through my collaborative project. skin prints offer an archival print of one’s body in direct relationship to the moment of its creation through the use of sticky material that documents the skin's surface. Through the production of a skin print the history of one’s skin, its scarring and deterioration is flattened and preserved as a monochromatic topography showcasing irrevocable bodily entropy. This work sheds light on the cyclical nature of life, a different way of grasping mortality, and a new ways of perceiving the unifying factors of humanity.

The anonymity of the bodies portrayed up close in imprints creates a unique archive of time and skin without the immediate context of identity. Each image is presented in black and white to create an anonymous, embodied union of skin each with their own diverse background and physical presence. Enlarging each imprint to highlight textures, shapes, and repetition patterns of hair, folds of skin, and scars compiles a collective record of the human body as vastly differentiated and intimately similar.

Through this widespread collaboration I aim to create an archive of bodies, intentional positive touch, and evidence of bodily persistence. I intend to publish this work in a digital gallery, and strive to exhibit large-scale prints with shared stories.

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