Curators and Taxidermists to preserve human flesh as art
Australia: Anatomy is a documentary series comprised of three unusual and compelling stories - Skin, Heart and Muscle - which explore how sexuality and the body work together as driving forces in the creative process.
The first film in the series, Skin, examines the 25-year collaboration between tattooist/artist eX de Medici and her subject Geoff Ostling as they negotiate the possibility of bequeathing Geoff’s tattooed skin as an artwork when he dies.
eX de Medici is a woman in her late forties who is equally renowned for her exemplary, vivid paintings as for her groundbreaking tattooing, and Geoff Ostling, an overweight 65-year-old retired history teacher whose body has been etched with a tapestry of Australian flowers by eX’s needles and ink. Now, with his entire body tattooed, Geoff is forced to confront his mortality as he and eX undertake their most challenging journey: the preservation and exhibition of Geoff’s skin after he dies.
As eX talks with curators and taxidermists, lawyers and coroners, to determine whether Geoff’s skin can be added as an artwork to her collection at the National Gallery of Australia, Geoff comes face to face with the prospect of his own death. As a promiscuous gay man who survived the AIDS epidemic and, as a devoted church-going Christian, Geoff’s reflections on mortality and human frailty offer startling insights into the impermanence of life and the permanence of art.
Artscape: Anatomy – Skin
Featuring eX de Medici
10:05pm Tuesday 14 April 2009 ABC 1
eX de Medici is represented by Karen Woodbury Gallery