The Body Without Organs
The Body without Organs is a performance piece in which the artist and performer (Dorsey Kaufmann and Jesus Solis) explore how various levels of state authority are exerted on individuals in the U.S. political system.
The installation consists of a box filled with earth mixed with segments of ripped up official state documents, policies, sanctions and forms that regulate the body and mark it with meaning. In the performance, the participants were invited to look through and read the language on the documents and then contribute any piece to a narrative that would be read from the lit platform, while listening to an audio piece. Once they decided on what piece to contribute, they would place it anywhere on the platform and sign their name on the paper.
The performance concluded with a reading of the disjointed pieces of policy, which propelled the performer’s bodies into movement.
The video acts as a way to remember and preserve moments of the performance, while taking on a life of its own. The segments of ripped up official state documents are uncovered through careful excavation through out the video. The language on these forms dictate where bodies travel, where bodies are detained, the value assigned to the body, and whether a body is accepted as belonging at home and with family - although only glimpses are revealed. The forms that once populated the sand are moved and reconfigured, then suddenly replaced with moving bodies that symbolize the physical effects that these policies, boxes, regressions, scales, and charts have. Through the body politic metaphor, the body is presented as the vessel to perform individual beliefs, even when in opposition to societal norms.