ANIMAL’s new feature Artist’s Notebook asks artists to show us their idea sketch next to a finished piece. This week Boryana Rossa of ULTRAFUTURO, an international art-collective co-established in 2004 by artists Boryana Rossa and Oleg Mavromatti talk about their transgressive 2005 piece SZ-ZS performance wherein Mavromatti stitched Rossa to a mirror with a surgical thread, as observed by the audience and on the monitor via a transmission from a camera mounted to Oleg’s head.
About the ULTRAFUTURO’s SZ-ZS performance at the Sofia City Art Gallery in Bulgaria:
SZ-ZS Performance is a visual interpretation of Lacan’s “imaginary, symbolic and real” concepts. The piece is an attempt to expose these three concepts simultaneously.
If the imaginary is the mirror image, and the symbolic is our language-determined social existence, or our actual body, which people see, then the real will be the inconceivable, physically non-existing border between the mirror reflection and the flesh of the artist.
The attempt to reify this non-physical connection is painful and infeasible.
About the sketch:
The idea of the perfromance was very simple in the beginning — to stitch myself to a mirror. I thought of several possibilities of doing that. The idea of the attempt of crossing from one world to another made me think I have to physically stick my body parts through the mirror as opposed to just lay on it, and to try to find a possible physical way to be stitched to it.
Then I thought about standing, which was problematic in terms of the physical balance possible. In order for me to stand, I had to tilt the mirror to an angle, which made it impossible for the audience to see my reflection in it. Finally I figured I have to sit. Then it was possible to place the mirror almost perpendicularly to the floor, so both my body and the reflection can be seen simultaneously. The drawing reflects this math of thinking.