The short movie, Fly in the ointment, directed by Peter Collins engaged me to make a series of photographs in which questions raise regarding the presence or absence of human touch in our lives.
More than a superfluity or indulgence, human touch is a visceral need. I was struck by the symbiotic relationship between a fly and a human being. The fly was getting nourishment from the salts and minerals of his skin in exchange for allowing the prisoner to enhance his dreams by simulated human touch.
Lucent cutaneous coverings shows how marked the body is, the mutilation is visible or not. Mental or physical.Owing to smaller household sizes, greater migration, higher media consumption, and longer life expectancy, people today are more corporally isolated than at any other time in human history.Just like we crave food when we are hungry, and crave sleep when we are tired, so we crave touch when we are lonely, for to be lonely is to be vulnerable.Our libido can be assuaged with our hand in a way that our craving for touch cannot: many people who think they are hungry for sex are in fact hungry for skin.
Here is a quote, an excerpt from the short movie ‘Fly in the ointment’.
Somehow, I felt [my wife’s] fingers on my leg. Shocked and excited, I opened my eyes only to realize it was a fly walking on me. I was greedy for human touch so I closed my eyes and pretended it was her fingers. I tried to stay perfectly still because I didn’t want to frighten the fly off and be left alone.
After that, convicted murderer P.C. would bite his cheek and apply a mixture of his own blood and saliva onto his skin to attract the flies that had become his only source of living touch.
Peter Collins. died of cancer after 32 years in a Canadian prison. [Official Website]