Under photography’s skin – Mikelle Standbridge

Mikelle Standbrige

At Eroici Furori Gallery, Milan

On Wednesday 2nd December, us of WoMA went to Eroici Furori Gallery for the opening of the exhibition Tracciati. The Gallery chose to dedicate its space to two different artists: Antonio Di Cecco, with his small and delicate photographs, and L. Mikelle Standbridge, an American artist whose research revolves around the introspection between the human soul and the body that contains it.

At Tracciati, you can see the series In Between the Edges of Stitched Souls, by Mikelle Standbridge.

Mikelle Standbridge
Mikelle Standbridge

From the very first sight, something strange awakes your curiosity: why did she wrap up the photos with such weird supports? At a distance, they seem to be pieces of furniture, or hang as if they were laundry pieces. And as you look at them more attentively, her photography taps on your door and enters into your inner dimension: those faces are so familiar, the expressions so natural and the poses appear as daily instants of sensuality.

But there is something common to all the portrayed characters: they bear some signs on their bodies. They can be voluntary marks, such as piercing or tattoos, or natural mutations of the body, such as pregnancy. In any case, the idea of a decision escaped from control, a feeling of utter sufferance, or a vivid experience emerge to the surface, reflected on their bodies that cry out the stories of those souls.

Mikelle Standbrige
Mikelle Standbrige

Other details are slowly brought to light, like the cotton fabrics that constitute the canvases. This material, as the body, can be modified, shaped and engraved. At some point the magic sparks off: your mind begins to perceive the liking among those characters and the frame which has been offered to them to make their stories real and tangible.

Mikelle Standbrige
Mikelle Standbrige

Mikelle offers us the idea and perception of a dialogue between the inner and the visible, the soul and the body. All her characters seem to tell us something about their lives, experiences and feelings, either voluntary or not. Nevertheless, their bodies are the only means with which they can express all this: a body that can be like a dress, a sheath, shaped by time and the unpredictable events of life.

This vibrant door from the inner to the outer dimensions of a person is what captured our mind and made us feel so near to Mikelle’s characters, almost as if we could perceive the warmth of skin as we pass our fingers over the canvases.

Beatrice Giacalone