Imprints is a service for those who are suffering from social distance. You are invited to be held (safely) in the midst of the pandemic and think about the consequences of touch.
How to participate
Imprints invites you to be held (safely) by artist Merinda Davies. This one-on-one performance will take place at IMA Belltower, Judith Wright Arts Centre:
Saturday 29 August, 12–3pm
Saturday 17 October, 11am-2pm
PLEASE REGISTER to take part
Imprints evolves over time from an initial installation, to a participatory performance, and after the performance a pile of spent PPE is left as the residue of these imprints.
Merinda asks us to consider the ‘Imprints’ of the pandemic on our bodies and on the environment.
“Without touch, I don’t know who I am. I realised early on in my experience of the pandemic that I navigate my way through the world through my physical connection to others. Whether it's my yoga teacher’s hand gently adjusting my alignment notating a location to breathe into my body, a hand squeezing my arm, my body moving in complicité with a dancer pressing my weight into their human flesh, memories of braiding my sisters hair in winter sunshine, and of course the hugs – the hug with a lover, the hug with a friend I haven’t seen in months or years, the hug with my mum and as she collapses into my arms I hold her body and feel her bones through skin. These are the imprints that help me know who I am, where I’ve come from and where I’m going.
In conversation with friends over this time, a few people have prophesied a ‘touch-less’ future. A world in which we surpass the need for physical touch, a world where we find new greetings and new intimacies. This dystopian thought disturbs me and makes me uncomfortable. I imagine in this world people walk around with hollow spaces in their chests. I imagine a loneliness that seeps through to the bone. I imagine many people are feeling like that now.
Who are we without touch? How can we navigate the mass skin-hunger we are experiencing through this crisis?
Touch, once synonymous with connection, love, desire, pleasure, care and comfort has become a weapon, a potentially lethal weapon. We have been asked to recoil in an act of care for others and safety for ourselves. The body has become a site for fear; of the other and what our bodies can do to others. I want to resist the urge to project my fear onto our bodies. In this touch starved world, I want to find a way to hold you.”
—Merinda Davies, 2020
Merinda Davies, Imprints, performance installation, 2020, PPE (gown, gloves, facemask, eyecover) hand sanitiser, sanitiser spray. Documentation: Pierce Eldridge
Merinda Davies (b.1991) is an artist using performance, movement, installation and conversation to question the current structural paradigm of inequality. Her work is inspired by the environment, human and non-human social structures and the possibilities available to us in future imaginings. Her practice aims to find clarity and connection in the external world through deep listening, observation, and research into the emotional and physical states in our internal worlds. She grew up on Bundjalung Land in Northern NSW, and is currently living on Kombumerri Land in South East QLD. Merinda is currently working on solo and collaborative projects for Gold Coast City Council, Placemakers*, Outer Space and The Walls Artspace.