ISSN: 20524013
First published in 2016
2 issues per volume
Volume 1 Issue 2
Cover Date: December 2016
Materializing virtual reality: The performativity of skin, body and costume in Tobias Bernstrup’s artwork
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Authors:  Viveka Kjellmer 
DOI: 10.1386/scp.1.2.151_1

Tobias Bernstrup,embodied experience,costume,body,skin,skin-as-shell,performance

Swedish artist Tobias Bernstrup (b. 1970) works with multimedia, music, performance, video and computer games. He creates fictional alter egos in his works and returns to his characters in an ongoing re-mediation, digitally or in real-world artistic performances. In explicit stage costumes made of latex, leather and metal, Bernstrup performs in the interface between digital character, human being and artwork. The costume becomes a bearer of physical experiences, a bridge between the portrayed and the perceived. Through our gaze, bodily experiences are transferred in the form of embodied knowledge or haptic vision. Materiality conveys meaning and communicates with our tactile memory through glossy latex, cold metal or bare skin. The costume is a paradoxical entity: both an inseparable part of the artist’s body in the performance process and something that can be removed, yet remains part of the character. The nude body onstage can be seen as another costume, the bare skin serving as an interface between visual and physical experience. Bernstrup and his virtual alter egos slip between existences where skin, body and costume tie his virtual and physical realities together.
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