This project investigates the real life experience of touch juxtaposed against a psychological narrative, which considers the body as a singular entity in the world. Touch is not just a haptic contact but an emotional bond between ourself and our world.
The skin functions as our threshold. It encapsulates us in and allows us to communicate out. Without touch a ‘void’ emerges - the interaction between body and world become detached. Seeking out platonic human-to-human touch in unconventional and abstract ways has become a resultant ramification for living in a culture of touch deprivation.
An emporium of touch has been established and commodity created within a societal imbalance making it possible to go to ‘fill up’ on what should be, but no longer exists as an instinctive interaction for many. Reclaiming the skin is at the core of the embodied experience confronted at these ever-growing in popularity, cuddle parties; for touch is that which ‘permeates the entire body.’ Considering conscious touch in such an environment allows it to once again be placed at the very centre; where the other senses and experiences that are often at the forefront of our existence, flow out from and through it.
The gesture of touch is performed within a group dynamic as they coalesce into one body, working to ensure maximum gratification of the self.
The portraits divulge where the distinction between inside and out, person and world can become indistinguishable, rooted in the present-day. They sit with photographs which are more intentionally literal representations of sociological experiments then further contrasted against haptically charged elements of when emotion and touch collide.
Exhibitions are participatory. The Audience are asked to be in platonic touch contact with a touch facilitator for 4 minutes (*12x10 second hugs) while they look at the work