Phantom Limb, 2021

Performer : Katie McDonald
Documentation : Brandon Brookbank


The table is carved with indentations made with the body in mind. The seated upright body, the leaning diagonal, the horizontal body in rest. Small tool marks indicate where the hand has worked and the direction of those motions. The forms on the table-top offer the shape of a seat, two hand holds, a bean shaped headrest. The wood is heavy and soft, carrying scratches and marks from use. The height of the table is that of a coffee table or even lower. The table legs are columns of support, undulating with form and colour. A slow performance in still images takes place, the body present in glimpses and impressions.

Aluminum panels have been hammered from the table-top, each mark reflecting but not precisely mirroring the surface of the wood. The table acts as a mold from which to form other materials. Through force, these aluminum sheets are bent, warping into new relaxed poses. These panels lean against the wall in waiting, with a flexible patience. These panels are imprints of the table, ghost impressions of the drawn body. The table can continue to produce these prints, eventually erasing the tool marks and leaving behind a smooth surface. These panels are hazy reflections of the body; light imprints made through deep force.

Scattered on the floor are wooden furniture leg stand-ins. Three alternates of varying size and shape, each flipped to show their leather underside, the furniture slider that would normally touch the floor. On the wall hangs yardage of upholstery, draped for ease of visibility and use. Raw material is layered with colour from pencil crayon marks. Individual pencil lines mirror repetitive tool marks across the room, showing the body that worked on these objects.