Ever since the practical value of electricity was discovered in the first half of the 19th century, close connections between the human body and electricity have unfolded a multiplicity of trajectories in our culture. There is the fantasy of reanimating dead tissue such as in case of the Frankenstein monster, experiments with stimulating brain cells to think faster and the electric chair used for execution. Costanza adds another chapter to this complex history of the electrified body. In her apartment, stripped of furniture and other everyday objects, she gets in front of the camera wearing only her underwear and touches her body with the tip of a MiniJack cable connected to an amplifier. As she moves the cable over the different parts of her skin, the current coming from the amplifier is connected to the ground through her body and the sound of this electric circuit is heard on the loudspeakers connected to the amp. When she touches her covered parts no sound is produced. The performance is reminiscent of a peepshow or a sex video on the Internet, except there is neither striping nor sex, only her body and the electricity, connected in a composed, yet tense act of intimacy.
Image: Costanza Candeloro e Luca Libertini, 2011 (Creative Commons)