Stéphane Dumas — EPITHELIA




“For a depth to be equal to its surface, and exhaust and exalt itself in it, is doubtless what makes the skin detached from the body, or the body turned inside out in its skin, a body of desire and sensual pleasure whose insistence your work records as a major motif of what haunts the contemporary concern over the possible meaning of ‘art’”.


 Jean-Luc Nancy


Stéphane Dumas writes on art simultaneously as a theoretician and a practitioner. This somehow unsafe posture requires an apprehension of the most concrete aspects of the artwork in order to maintain the theoretical process in close contact with them. This positions writing as something else than a mere hermeneutic tool. With this immersion process, writing becomes an agent of participation as much as an agent of distance.


As an art theoretician, Stéphane Dumas has published texts about embodiment in art and especially about skin as possible models for artistic creation.


As the body’s edge, skin is in a privileged situation between a person and the world. Vital processes of exchange take place through its thickness, even more than on its surface.


In his research about what he calls “creative skins”, he analyzes the physiological processes taking place through the bodily envelope: perspiration, absorption, etc. He explores a secretory model of artistic creation and cognition.


His research has been partly developed through studying the Greek myth of Marsyas, in which he found a model of “creative skin” addressing visual arts throughout western history. This model allowed him to develop a method by confronting art practices beyond the chronological boundaries of art history.




— Creative Skins, 2014.


This book’s topic is about skin and the visual arts : skin as a creative process, and art as a secretion process.


Klinksieck, Paris, 2014, Coll. Esthétique.

Stéphane Dumas © 2017