Kinesiology tapes have become the favourite sport accessories of David Beckham, reducing his pain, allowing him to rebalance his physical energy and gain velocity. Made from cotton, they dramatically emphasise the natural and sensual shapes of the muscles. With their sleek look and their flashy tones, they reminisce early Martin Margiela styled aerobic sessions.
Hydrotransfer is a unique method of dipping. It creates a pattern, an effect or texture on any hard surface. While hydrotransfer is mostly used in the car tuning culture, it may as well imbrue the skin with its irresistible touch affectionated by John McCraken.
Kinesiology tapes and hydrotransfer concur to the fragmentation of the body. Like a rubber boot finalising an appealing leg, they also function as perfect fetishes : packaging and body extension at the same time. While the kinesiology tapes are supposed to reinforce the body’s primary functions, they also become objects of desire. Through the subtle separation it creates between the body and its surface, this medically inspired technique doesn’t only underline muscles and organs but also draws new areas of intensity. Much as the metallic braces confining James and Catherine Ballard’s skeletons*, the tapes progressively loose their palliative nature and become stimulants. Human bodies embrace hoods and fenders, blood and cum coagulate with crumbled metal while multiplying car-crashes start fertilising.
Should we abandon our old bodies as suggested by Grindhouse Wetware**, a bio-hacking group from Pittsburgh which proposes “safe, affordable, and open source technology” to modify them?
Or should we completely substitute them as the paraplegic Jake Sully*** who lets his original body become the Na’vi-human clone which explores the magical Pandora planet ? SURE! He discovers new body functions like Neytiri’s neural queue which allows her to share her feelings and memories with other creatures. Through this synapse of the Na’vis body, mind and nature are not only connected but shape a symbiotic continuum. HALLEILUIA.
Should we deem tapes, bandages and patches as signifiers of our impotency? An ineluctable death ? A Sarcophagus ? Kinesiology tapes and Hydrotransfer resemble surfing before a shark attack. They also hint to the unused coffin of Herman Melville’s Queequeg**** : sure of his death, the harpooner reproduced his own tattoos on the coffin lid. The empty coffin will eventually save the life of Ismael while symbolically marking the end of Queequeg. Fetish, object of substitution and salvation, Queequeg’s coffin becomes, much as the kinesiology tape, an ambivalent second skin, waiting for death to come in order to regenerate, saving a life while silently disappearing : the metaphysics of band-aid ?
*Crash (1996), directed by David Cronenberg
***Avatar (2009), directed by James Cameron
****Moby-Dick; or, The Whale (1851), written by Herman Melville
Text by Pierre-Alexandre Mateos.
Contribution by Domenico de Chirico.
Adrian Dan - Muscle Breach
Suprainfinit, February 18 - April 1