20 × 16 in
Savannah College of Art & Design
Getty Research Institute
21st Annual Minneapolis Print & Drawing Fair, Curator’s Choice, Rachel McGarry, Associate Curator of Prints & Drawings.
This collaborative print between Valerie Hammond & Kiki Smith was created during a residency at Savannah College of Art & Design in 2012. The print documents the tattoos that are in the process of being removed from Smith’s back and the effects of Gua Sha, a healing practice that Hammond and Smith performed on each other to bring the blood to their backs. Gua Sha is practiced in many parts of China and Vietnam where it is thought to treat pain and illness by improving circulation.
Apports was exhibited as part of “Streaming Spirits: New Prints by Kiki Smith and Valerie Hammond” at the Savannah College of Art and Design in LaCoste, France from July 7th until September 1st, 2012.
From the Huffington Post:
‘”The beginning of photography was an experiment with the assemblage of reality,” said Smith, whose show had loosely meandered into experiments with printmaking techniques, and was constrained by the scope of the tiny exhibition space and shaped by the artists’ shared experiences at Lacoste.
Explaining the evolution of the work Hammond said, “Those images made you want to believe; they stem from beliefs in other realms.” Hammond’s mother had just passed away before she had arrived at Lacoste, and then a month after their stay, her father died, which expectedly had a meditative impact on her work. Kiki Smith summarized it philosophically, musing that, “the material and the physical were the manifestations of the spiritual.”
Besides exploring the vestiges of the physical body, the two artists shared an interest in lithography and the palimpsests of impressions left behind on physical surfaces through the process of building and erasing residual layers of inks. Photographic inversions from black lines to white created ghostly apparitions, and Smith had also experimented with other imaging interventions into the physical realm with X-rays and MRIs, as well as working with multiple exposures on glass plates and stained glass etching techniques that stippled light and shade.
The artist has had an ongoing fascination with capturing the body’s effluvium, breath, and the intangibles that animate the body. “Vomit, breath and language, things that come out of your mouth.” While Smith’s images and sculptures explore and transgress the surface of the skin to expose its web of capillaries and musculature, her own skin too has become marked with a constellation of pigmented and beaded tattoos like strands of lapis lazuli.’