Doug Beube
Projected Histories: Saints #03.1m

1993
projection, performance
sizes various
Performing before a slide projector and camera simultaneously, the human model (myself in this instance) becomes the screen upon which cropped images of saints holding books are projected from transparencies of my photographs of medieval paintings taken at the Metropolitan Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Art. In this symbolic integration of the sacred and profane upon the body as medium—as canvas or sculptural form as well as receptacle of text—the knowledge unleashed by books becomes tactile, sensual, even erotic. The contours of the living torso intercept and reconfigure the two-dimensional shapes of the book. The leather bindings seem to merge with the texture of the skin. Sacred volumes, thus transmuted, become indistinguishable from the fleshy folds; even the spine of the book and the spine of the model appear fused.
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