In my recent work, my primary material is fresh, untreated pigskin. I discovered that I responded intensely to its feel, smell, and the deeply corporal overall sensation it engenders. I find its effect in sculptural work as well as in photographs uniquely "human."
I work with both fresh material and with preserved skin that I had treated with salt or chemicals, or which I had plastinated, a process that involves removing the fluid contents of the skin and infusing it with silicon in a vacuum environment. Some of my work results in skin objects, sometimes two-dimensional, usually sculptural, and some is photographic documentation of objects or arrangements.
My goal is to produce work that jumps from the wall and makes its viewer feel something intense. I want to reveal that we are surrounded by flesh in our ordinary environment, that many products are made out of dead animal skin, but since it is disguised, and the process by which it has come to be what it is, is deeply hidden - you don't really register that your leather jacket or shoes are made of a dead animal.
My work with a material that looks like human skin often disturbs and evokes strong emotions. I don't have a didactic goal per se: I'm really more interested in producing an awareness rather than suggesting how that awareness should be used.
My interest in skin as a material is so intense because in it I see expressed concretely the subjects that are important to me: life, pleasure, sex, pain, injury, aging, death and any number of more abstract matters, like identity, gender, power relations, vulnerability, and the whole sphere of perception itself.
This project is a Gesamtkunstwerk, please see explanation in the category: BOOK
Heide Hatry, 2005