Fabriano 110 gsm
20.5 × 14.5 in
CollectionCollection Development, Unique Books
1 in stock
Artist Shaun Levin on Touched:
“While working on a prose book about friendship and how childhood friendships shape those later in life, I noticed how touch and desire were at the core of my early friendships, kindergarten friendships, primary school friendships, and I questioned where that knowledge came from, how did I learn to touch, how was my desire formed, who teaches us, if anyone at all, to say no. In my teens and twenties I put myself in situations where I did not know that “no” was an option. To say “no” was to choose solitude, loneliness. To agree to unwanted touch seemed better than no touch at all. As if those were the only two options when to be touched by those we love was neither available nor deserved.
Out of the unspoken, non-verbal world of desire and punishment I made this book. I wanted to show how the trickle down effect of state-sanctioned violence – from the omnipresent inhumanity of apartheid to corporal punishment in school – and the disregard for individual integrity in the place I was raised in, South Africa, shapes how we see our bodies and the bodies of others, and how the subliminal messages of crude homophobic and sissyphobic songs and taunts of early childhood teach us that our bodies and skin are violable and shameful. The use of bright, friendly colours are a way of superseding the weight of what was meant to be unspoken.
I’m interested in the unuttered and unutterable, the wounding that happens in silence, the traumas that silence us. I make visual and abstract work because prose, my medium for almost thirty years, is not always enough. I want to tell these stories in ways that feel closer to the experiences themselves, through movement and gesture, through colour and shapes, away from the cerebral intellectuality that literature expects, and closer to the physicality that drawing allows.”