- GRAHAM Dan, Body Press, 1970-73.
Two film makers stand (within a surrounding and completely mirrorized cylinder), body trunk stationary, hands holding and pressing a camera’s back end flush to, while slowly rotating it about the surface cylinder of their individual bodies. One rotation circumscribes the body’s contour, spiralling slightly upward with the next turn. With successive rotations, the body surface areas are completely covered by the back of the camera(s) until the cameraman’s eye level it reached; then a reverse mapping downward begins until the original starting point is reached. The rotations are at corresponding speeds; when each camera is rotated to each body’s rear, it is facing and filming the other as they are exchanged, so the camera’s “identity“ “changes hands“ and each performer is handling a new camera. The camera are of different size. In the process, the performers are to concentrate on the coexistent, simultaneous identity of the camera describing them and their body. To the spectator, the camera may or may not read as an extension of the body’s identity.
Optically, the two cameras film the image reflected on the mirror, which is the image of the surface(s) of the lens, the camera’s visible sides, the body of the performer, and (possibly) his eyes on the mirror. The camera’s angle of orientation/view of area of the mirror’s reflective image is determined by the placement of the camera on the body contour at a given moment. (The camera might be pressed against the chest but such an upward angle shows head and eyes).
Projection of film: the films are projected at the same time on two loop projectors, very large size, on two opposite, but close, room walls. A member of the audience (man or woman) might identify with one image ot the other from the same camera or can identify with one body or the other, shifting his/her view each time to face the other screen when cameras are exchanged.
To the spectator the camera’s optical vantage is the skin – there is no space. The performer’s musculature is also “seen“ pressing into the surface of the body (pulling inside out). At the same time, kinesthetically, the handling of the camera can be “felt“ by the spectator as surface tension for the hidden side of the camera presses and slides against the skin it covers at a particular moment. » (see Lea Vergine, p. 110-111)