Kader Attia, Scars Have the Strange Power to Remind Us that Our Past Is Real, (2015). Chromatic print, 23 5/8 x 35 7/16 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

This Skin of Ours, curated by Liz Park, looks at the way we sense the world through this skin of ours. It brokers our relationship to external forces and translates them as pain or pleasure. The skin is perhaps where we most frequently deposit ideas of the self and the other. We test the limits of our physical selves through contact—violence and intimacy both necessitate that our skins touch and communicate. If the skin is a site of injuries and insults that each body has had to bear, it is also a site of potential repair. A scar suggests both past violence and the body’s capacity to heal.

The skin is also a site of a formal investigation. It is an elastic and responsive layer through which the artists grouped here explore pain and hurt, redemptive possibilities of healing, and the meeting of private and public lives. Imagine that the works in the exhibition comprise a collective sensing organ, pulsing with colors and texture. Imagine also this organ’s capacity to feel and empathize with the pain of others as well as the pleasure from tender touch. This is a proposal to collectively feel our way through this world where we will inevitably emerge scarred, but from the shared experiences that allow for a deeper understanding of the other.

Artists in the show include: Kader Attia, Matty Davis & Ben Gould, Victoria Fu & Matt Rich, Byron Kim, Kiki Kogelnik, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Wilmer Wilson IV.

This Skin of Ours is on view at Miller Institute for Contemporary Art at Carnegie Mellon University (Purnell Center for the Arts, 5000 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213) through November 17, 2019.

For more information, visit miller-ica.cmu.edu/this-skin-of-ours.