Evan Penny - Commentary


Artist Statement: Why Do You Peel Me From Myself?

This cycle of work, conceived as an installation, is related to the work from the Venice project Ask Your Body and takes its cue and title from the Alexander Nagel’s catalogue essay Why do you peel me frome myself?.

The installation consists of three elements: Hanging Marsyas, a realistic sculpture of the mythological Marsyas, bound by the god Apollo as he prepares to flay the mortal of his skin; Body Mirrors, reflective gold-plated bronze sculptures enlarged from the impression created by squeezing clay into the palm of the hand; and a set of photographs showing the distorted image of Marsyas reflected in the Body Mirrors.

The hanging Marsyas is imagined gazing into a reflective mirror of his own flayed skin and asking, “Why do you peel me from myself?”. The photographic images, taken with my iPhone, become a kind of selfie. Marsyas’s horror at being confronted with his own skin provokes us to consider the implications of our relationship to the photographic/digital ”image” and its disorienting and disembodying effects.

Evan Penny, 2019