Sarah Bliss and Rosalyn Driscoll, Blindsight, 2015. 2 stills from video installation, score by James Wyness.

Sarah Bliss, Rosalyn Driscoll, and James Wyness


Boston Sculptors Gallery

How does an artist make a tactile work when the viewer can’t touch anything? Sarah Bliss has done so, in collaboration with sculptor Rosalyn Driscoll and sound artist James Wyness, in their video installation Blindsight at Boston Sculptors Gallery. Much of the work takes place in the rain—or the sauna or the shower—and the actors/performers are primarily depicted nude. (Scarcely any genitals appear, although the camera flirts with the idea.) An older man—gray stubble-beard, close-cropped gray hair, earring in one ear—stands in the ver­­­t­ical stream first. A young Asian man appears, his smooth back, arms, and hands contrasting with the timeworn frame of his elder. Later, an older woman interacts, sometimes expressionless, sometimes ecstatic. Water pouring across skin and through wet, stringy hair renders powerful haptic memories in the watcher. The performers move in fluid, controlled ways, wet skin sliding across wet skin. Bliss’s lens is kept close to the bodies, which perform in an unstated environment. The cinematographer directed the performers’ positions in relation to the camera, but encouraged them to improvise. Their dance-like movements are mysterious and mesmerizing, enhanced by Bliss’s unflinching chiaro-­­scuro lighting. Feathers come into the frame—a fan of white primaries, like a domestic turkey’s wing—eliciting thoughts of Amerindian rituals. …see the entire review in the print version of November’s Sculpture magazine.