re-move make-up

re-move make-up (2016), performance based audio-visual compositions, various media, series »separate assignments«

»I grew up Fostered alike by beauty and by fear.« William Wordsworth, The Prelude (I, 265-266)

re-move make-up belongs to the triptych separate assignments.

separate assignments are studies in human movement, based on performances of assignments given to a stranger via webcam. Beyond being basically audio-visual compositions, the series investigates aspects of images, identity and interaction regarding experiences in front of separate screens, expressing the disturbed and disturbing beauty of deficient media and mediated relationships.

The series is also dealing with the entanglement between amazement about beauty and an awareness of the evanescence of beauty – the unsettling awareness of caducity.

»It's a task, and you see the body doing it. I found those (...) very beautiful – the beauty of just what a body does to perform a task.« simone forti on muybridge in: thinking with the body

separate assignments triptych: braid, re-move make-up, shape

From a broader perspective, the series »separate assignments« belongs to my ongoing »investigations in movement« and to the motif of a »figure in movement«. These aspects unfolded most elaboratedly in the interactive installation Variations IX, (2015-2016), an audio-visual composition, and beautifully linked to my first appaearance of the figure in movement, (Paris, 1993), through girl descending a staircase, (2017). For the first seminal appearance of the portraiture motif see Selbstbildnis, Paris 1992.

gif raw preview / images

Thanks from the heart to K.S. for her calm, melancholy mellow and fragile performances.

separate assignments – references:

Above: Albrecht Dürer: Underweysung der Messung, 1525
Below: separate assignments »underweysung« via webcam

Eadward Muybridge

Simone Forti on Muybridge in: Forti, Simone 2014: Thinking with the Body, Munich [Hirmer], p. 26

Eadward Muybridge, The Human Figure in Motion, plate 167,
Woman sitting in chair, drying her feet

Eadweard Muybridge, The Human Figure in Motion


»Oft wenn ich Kleider mit vielfachen Falten, Rüschen und Behängen sehe, die über schönen Körper schön sich legen, dann denke ich, daß sie nicht lange so erhalten bleiben, sondern Falten bekommen, nicht mehr geradezuglätten, Staub bekommen, der, dick in der Verzierung, nicht mehr zu entfernen ist, und daß niemand so traurig und lächerlich sich wird machen wollen, täglich das gleiche kostbare Kleid früh anzulegen und abends auszuziehn.

Doch sehe ich Mädchen, die wohl schön sind und vielfach reizende Muskeln und Knöchelchen und gespannte Haut und Massen dünner Haare zeigen, und doch tagtäglich in diesem einen natürlichen Maskenanzug erscheinen, immer das gleiche Gesicht in die gleichen Handflächen legen und von ihrem Spiegel widerscheinen lassen.

Nur manchmal am Abend, wenn sie spät von einem Feste kommen, scheint es ihnen im Spiegel abgenützt, gedunsen, verstaubt, von allen schon gesehn und kaum mehr tragbar.«

Franz Kafka, Kleider

See also remarks to »nude« and »urbino portraits« here: Cornelia, Kleist and Kafka

by Franz Kafka
Translated by Willa and Edwin Muir

»Often when I see clothes with manifold pleats, frills, and appendages which fit so smoothly onto lovely bodies I think they won't keep that smoothness long, but will get creases that can't be ironed out, dust lying so thick in the embroidery that it can't be brushed away, and that no one would want to be so unhappy and so foolish as to wear the same valuable gown every day from early morning till night.

And yet I see girls who are lovely enough and display attractive muscles and small bones and smooth skin and masses of delicate hair, and nonetheless appear day in, day out, in this same natural fancy dress, always propping the same face on the same palms and letting it be reflected from the looking glass.

Only sometimes at night, on coming home late from a party, it seems in the looking glass to be worn out, puffy, dusty, already seen by too many people, and hardly wearable any longer.«

[all works from nicolas constantin © nicolas constantin romanacci]