Bloodletting, or the Therapy of Channelling in traditional Chinese
medicine, has been practiced surreptitiously. A Case Study of Bloodletting consists of an eerily meditating essay film and a few partly organic
sculptural pieces. The project discursively touches upon the poetics of
excessive, abjected oozing, unfolding like a red chain of ellipses.
Doctor L specialises in bloodletting. In an online album only
visible to herself, she files the cases she has handled according
to their locations; intractable and rare diseases - shown as all
kinds of abnormal blood samples - are filed in a separate folder.
When Doctor L ‘bleeds’ a patient, her assistant Y takes photos
and films alongside. Her lens captures nothing indicative of a
patient’s identity but merely close-ups of the parts of bodies undergoing cupping and bleeding. As L scrolled through her phone
and explained to me the glutinous images reeking of blood, she
sees holes leaking of information. What do I see in the same
imagery? ...References and subterranean add-ons melded in one
place that instantly distorted the basic context of bloodletting
as a medical method.
Imitating her assistant, I aimed my camera at the effective unit
of bloodletting, where “a gestural prick” forms. The character 血 (blood) is composed of 丿and 皿 (vessel/container),
resembling a needle that pricks the body as a vessel. Once a gesture enters the category of ominous reading, it will be
rewritten in the organic and spectral chain of “substitution”. My
task here is obvious, to suspend bloodletting, that is to bleed