Dorothée Smith

12 September 2013

Video and web site

Dorothée Smith explores identity from the point of view of what remains: can one survive the loss of ones own body? In what form can one keep a live trace of what is absent organically? e idea is not to conjure up ghosts of the imagination or the spectre of the supernatural, but to follow the course of a biological imprint that literally «haunts» the body of another. Dorothée Smith has imagined a borderline experiment where the self, confronted with the threat of its disappearance, finds the means of resistance in biotechnology. The experiment produces a double dialectic movement: the specular installation confronts the visitor with a totally unique portrait whereas the use of the chip deprives him of it to alienate the intimacy of the artist.

Even if it has mostly nourished the fantasy of science ction, today this conception of a tele-presence nurtures all the hopes of techno-dreamers, who see in it the possibility of storing an extract of their substance and making themselves an avatar. But beyond the imaginary inherent in this denaturalised biology, it is the possibility of a deterritorialized conscience that is questioned: is identity an object like any other? Can one maintain an ontology of trace?

By miming the experimental process without carrying it out fully, Dorothée Smith does not decide and plays in the indeterminate margins of science and philosophy. Designed as purely speculative poetry, the proposal discovers a virtual refuge for the identity of a deconstructed body.

Production: Le Fresnoy in collaboration with 2XS team of CNRS research Project of the IRCICA Laboratory of Université Lille 1.

Team: Emmanuel Debrie ( production), Thomas Vantroys (team 2XS / IRCICA RFID programing), Adrien Fontaine (Kinect programing), Michel Peneau/Mmind (Web development and graphic design), Zélia Smith (Opera de Lyon, Textile creation).