Behind the Face / The Face Corset

This new work continues the theme of the Anatomical Man, in which Sawdon Smith has had various medical drawings and procedures tattooed on to his body. In this latest work he commissioned a ‘Face Corset’, with the muscles of the face sewn in, from the artist Patrick Ian Hartley.

This is also one of the few projects where Sawdon Smith has taken his body out of the studio and on location – to a simulacrum of the hospital. Not the ‘real’ medical environment but a teaching space. A place of perceived wisdom, knowledge and understanding; a place to learn about the body, but “with each layer that is peeled away there appears to be another to take its place, rather than revealing an essence of the body we merely add to it another layer or fragment.”[1]

[1] Akira Mizuta Lippit ‘The X-Ray Files: Alien-ated Bodies in Contemporary Art’ in Afterimage December 1994 (P6-7)


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