Artist: Sarah Sudhoff
"Repository" Sarah Sudhoff + + + + +
Co-Lab Project Space
Body art is, “A direct reflection of the artist’s life experiences.” –Rosemary Mayer, 1972
I examine the body within a medical context by exploring four main themes: pathological waste; containment of the body and its parts; fragmentation and violence against the body; a subject’s relationship to a specific environment.
Following my surgery in 2004 for cervical cancer, I began to perform in hospitals, morgues, medical museums and my doctors’ offices. The film works focus attention on the physical and emotional traces cancer and surgery can leave on the body while challenging the prescribed treatment for recovery and role of the patient.
Through self-performance, private rituals are revealed to the public only through documentation. Personal experiences are intertwined with unfamiliar environments thus creating a new environment for the viewer through their experience in the space. The same character’s presence in many of the works allows for an introspective look at these, in some cases unfamiliar worlds in comparison to one another.
The repetition of spaces, procedures and a central character highlights and reshapes our thoughts on medical environments, the treatment of our bodies in these spaces, what role we have at protecting our bodies and the lengths we will go to achieve a sense of health. While the journey stems from a personal bout with cancer, I hope to resonate with each viewer as they participate in the space and reflect on the work.