Lukas Hofmann: Skin Come Leather, Vol. IIIPart of Ultrasanity group exh, Performance at Invocations, SAVVY, BerlinDecember 15, 2019 – February 9, 2020
Performance: January 25, 2020
Curators: Bonaventure Ndikung, Elena Agudio
Hofmann looks at skin as a permeable border, at eczema and allergy as failures of hypersensitive immune systems, that can be freely transposed onto wider societal issues. Skin as a multi-layered metaphor and sphere becomes Hofmann’s zone for interaction, manipulation, (self)violation, sensation, or exploitation: both dividing the bodily self from the rest of the world, and providing access to it; a sphere of the most intimate contact, letting the environmental elements enter the body, holding the body together and yet being so vulnerable to outer powers. The video in its hyper-tactile contemplations of skin as a membrane and border present the microscopic in a macro frame.
In an allergic reaction, a self-deterrent, overprotective, and protected body chooses to consume itself, it sends out histamines in an effort to cope with itself. A comprehensive multi-sensory experience, Skin Come Leather examines the allergy as a process of self-sabotage to reflect on hygiene beyond purification, transformation and reformation; accompanied by elements in between the realms of fetish, commercialized wellness and empowerment. Hofmann follows the rudimentary process of turning skin into leather – a commodity – alongside skin examinations and experiments. From the Greek allos, meaning different, and ergia, energy, allergy is also partially a construct stimulated by the development of human civilization.A number of studies support the so-called hygienic hypothesis, according to which we have constructed our late capitalist urban environment as overly hygienic, clean and sanitary. Immune systems in such environment hastily turn against incoming externalities.