Andrea Galvani & Tim Hyde, The Skull Sessions No.2

Alice Miceli © Chernobyl Project
Photograph, 35mm, black and white

The Skull Sessions

The Skull Sessions are conversations rendered as form. Each Session is a dialogue recorded and reshaped into experimental publications, objects, images, and installations. The project is an ongoing collaboration between Andrea Galvani and Tim Hyde, producing a series of collective works that often involve other artists, architects, scientists, writers, and musicians.

Andrea Galvani & Tim Hyde, The Skull Sessions No.2
Experimental publication

Andrea Galvani & Tim Hyde, The Skull Sessions No.2
Experimental publication

Skull Session No.1: Andrea Galvani and Tim Hyde in conversation with Saul Melman

A.G. Maybe this is a delicate question Saul, but have you ever thought of the Emergency Room as an art studio?
S.M. Yes! It’s kind of a studio and also a theater. When I’m in the Emergency Room I’m using certain tools and materials, I’m assuming a role and being watched. Obviously it’s very different than making art because what is at stake is human life.The procedures that I do as a physician must be done precisely, in a very specific order, and of course without error. So there is no room to experiment, sit back and look, make mistakes, the way I would in the art studio. But I physically perform a role in both arenas.And even when I’m not physically present making the work, like I was during the six-month performance at PS1,I still think of the environments and objects I create as having a performative sensibility and the viewers moving through the work as part of that performance. 

Andrea Galvani & Tim Hyde, The Skull Sessions No.1, Deconstruction Green
Reassembled printing plate, unique piece, aluminum on aluminum, 50 X 80 cm // 19.7 X 27.6 inches
 

Andrea Galvani & Tim Hyde, Hexagon/Pentagon
Infinitely reconfigurable sculpture, 13 pieces of weather treated MDF
Dimensions variable, 2012

Andrea Galvani & Tim Hyde, Configuration No.3
C-Print, 102 x 132 cm | 40 x 52 inches framed, edition of 5, 2013
Courtesy Marso Contemporary Art Project, Mexico City
 

Hexagon/Pentagon: Configurations 1-11 are a series of photographs that document iterations of a modular sculpture constructed as a special project for Untitled in Miami, curated by Omar Lopez Chahoud in December 2012. Over the course of the event, the work was continuously reconfigured to incorporate public talks and actions revolving around ideas of radiation, invisibility, and geometry. The entire installation works as an exploded view of Skull Sessions No.1 and No.2, long form conversations with artists Saul Melman and Alice Miceli. 

Andrea Galvani & Tim Hyde, The Skull Sessions No.1, Deconstruction Blue
Reassembled printing plate, unique piece, aluminum on aluminum, 50 X 80 cm // 19.7 X 27.6 inches

T.H. I’m curious... One thing I’ve assumed about your practice is that you–unlike most other artists–have this extremely physical and internal knowledge of how bodies work and look from the inside out. I mean, you work with bodies as mate- rial in the hospital.You are stitching them together, going inside them, wrapping them. Given that you work with materials as a kind of a primary engine for different projects, I wonder how your sense of the body appears in your work? How do you think the fact that you know how to puncture a hole in the throat to let someone breathe effects how you work with materials?
S.M. That’s a good point, and I think the way this affects me is that nothing is taboo, nothing is sacred. A lot of doctors and nurses (and maybe also prosti-tutes) have an unromantic idea of the body because we work with the body routinely. The human body is a bunch of sacks inside a sack. I started to think about bodies this way, even when I was younger. My father, who is a urologic surgeon, would dis- sect chickens at the dinner table giving my sisters and me anatomical tours. I remember him demonstrating a sex change operation on a piece of asparagus. I think that this absence of taboo makes me unafraid to work with materials that I haven’t used before. I don’t ask myself whether a material should be used in a certain way.I just experiment with it and see if it works. If someone says oh that material is not made to be used that way, I just think why the fuck not? For example, the machine used for making the vacuum formed casts is like a re-animator, something you would find in Frankenstein’s laboratory. Six ovens with glowing coils heated to 1000 degrees melt the plastic, which is quickly lowered down onto the molds. A vacuum underneath the mold sucks the hot plastic down with incredible force.The result is something I can never completely control, which allows the work to take on its own unpredictable life.

Andrea Galvani & Tim Hyde, The Skull Sessions No.2
Experimental publication