Abstract by Christina Lammer
The artistic research endeavor Performing Surgery examines operating hands. They are regarded from two perspectives: as motoric precision tools and as for the bodily reality of another human being empathetically feeling organs. While operating touch and movement – in interpersonal contact – are inextricably connected.
In the operating theater with video and analogue film gathered movement materials – operating hands – serve as the foundation for the development of drawings and choreographic works. The endeavor is inspired by the responses on a video installation that was created in recent years in the context of plastic surgery. A series of three Hand Movies (Lammer 2012, HD videos à 5′), www.corporealities.org/hand-movies/, was discussed at a variety of occasions both at home and abroad. The Hand Movies offer a starting point. We – the visual artist Barbara Graf, the choreographer Doris Stelzer and I, the sociologist and videographer Christina Lammer – are particularly interested in the physical skills of surgeons and how they are achieved. In our understanding the operating hands are organs of interpersonal contact. They articulate a unique language of the Leib (body). They – the hands and their moving vocabulary – shall be explored with the help of drawing and choreographic methods.
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Photo: © Christina Lammer 2014, videostill, Super 8 movie