“They said we’d perfected a second skin”, reads the press release written by Dylan Aiello for Emmy Skensved and Grégoire Blunt‘s 2nd Skin exhibition, which ran between June 25 to July 5 at 8eleven in Toronto. Aeillo writes as though taking a shower with a second skin. The steam and the water “bead off”‘ the “‘epidermal envelope” –it is self-cleaning: “self-regenerating” instead. The end of the words comes with a heavenly moment – thoughts in the shower –when the person with the second skin says they ‘never, ever’ expected to react so well to the anti-rejection drugs. Ahh.
The whole room is bright white, its atmosphere “2.22 μg/m³ nicotine and 0.71 μg/m³ caffeine”.
Skvensed and Blunt presented a digital animation work called ‘eStamina’ (2015), related to the February exhibition of the same name, and surrounded by the aforementioned caffeine-infused fog and nicotine. You can barely make people out in the space from 8eleven’s Facebook photos, sat within the atmosphere: a mix that straight away floats into your head as something intensely addictive, although nicotine does also come in antidote form. The video is comprised of different chapters –like “Chapter Y: YAG LASER”–that go with subtitled texts from several writers and artists such as Bixy Knocks, Antoine Renard, Emma Siemens-Adolphe and Viktor Timofeev. One moment Knocks’ text describes, “a distant call to revert to a far earlier reptoid state”. The second skin is the skin we have now, and there is no antidote.
French artist, Clemence de La Tour du Pin made a new fragrance of rubber, metal and Red Bull (‘Untitled’, 2015). The little vials were held onto the walls and windows with see-through bath/shower rubber suckers. Visualise->Actualise made a work called ‘2nd Skin eBook’ (2015), a series of silicone and USB packaging pieces that line up along the wall, all their insides vacuum-packed up against their outside. **
Exhibition photos, top right.
Emmy Skensved and Grégoire Blunt’s2nd Skin exhibition was on at Toronto’s 8eleven gallery, from June 25 to July 5, 2015.
Header: Clémence de La Tour du Pin, ‘Untitled (Redbull, metal, rubber)’ (2015). Install view. Courtesy 8eleven, Toronto.