New York

Stelarc

Mo David Gallery

In 1970 Stelarc began a series of performance pieces based on the themes of levitation and the obsolescence of the physical body. These involved suspending himself by ropes and harnesses from wooden frameworks and helium balloons. Dissatisfied with these works because his body was supported by external structures, he found his true métier in 1976, when he began the series called “Stretched Skin Suspensions.” He has performed these pieces about twenty times, mostly in Japan, where he lives, and where his work attracts little attention and thus little intervention. A “Stretched Skin Suspension” lasts about an hour to an hour and a half. Naked, Stelarc lies, sits, or stands on some platform in the position in which the suspension will take place. Metal hooks two or three inches long, like fishhooks without barbs, are inserted through his skin in symmetrical arrays—one on each shoulder, one

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