FREMAUX-VALDEZ COLLABORATIVE STATEMENT
Our bodies are secrets, or they are keepers of secrets, because they operate largely outside the reaches of consciousness and vision. Medicine and religion promise to decipher the body secret, each offering an account of what this body is, how it works, and how to care for it. In our work, we examine embodiment through the triple lens of medicine, religious mythology, and our love for each other, mis/applying the ideas, instruments, and/or experience of each in the portrayal of our own bodies. We “perform” surgical procedures, purifying rites, sensual acts of worship, and feats of miraculous healing on ourselves and each other in these drawings. We reveal to each other what we cannot see of ourselves, and serve as the stewards of one another’s secrets.
We often fabricate our reference imagery through digital collage, which enables us to cut and transplant photographic tissue in the production of new bodies and environments. In physically collaged works, we enact this same process with parts cut from our own drawings. We build the bones of each piece with charcoal, the mass with gouache, and the skin with chalk pastel. Supporting and questioning each other through the obliteration and retrieval of our bodies through drawing, rotating in and out of each piece fluidly, we can rarely tell where one of us ends and the other begins. The immense scale makes the viewer an inhabitant of the work, drawing them into intensely intimate proximity with the bodies portrayed, unimpeded by a frame.