Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base: Mary Coble

Blood Script

Blood Script

Mary Coble. Blood Script, 2008.

Blood Script was a live performance piece that took place at the PULSE Art Fair at Pier 40 in New York City, New York in 2008. The artist meticulously documented inscriptions from three previous Marker (DC, NYC and Madrid) Performances and compiled a list of over 200 hateful words and phrases written on me, by viewers, in various languages. For Blood Script, the artist had 75 of the most common words tattooed onto her skin, without ink, in a very ornate script. Using decorative letters, she created a dichotomy between the beautiful visual form of the words and the ugly meanings they convey semantically. Contact prints were made of each word by immediately pressing watercolor paper against the fresh incisions. The mirror image of the word was imprinted on the paper in blood. The elaborate script initially engages viewers in the optical challenge of identifying each tattooed insult. The recognition of each word stimulates viewers to reflect upon the significance of what the insult means to them. This dynamic process mediates a silent dialogue between the artist and the audience as the performance progresses.


hate speech, GLBT, tattoo, text, blood, print making, blood painting, performance, endurance, body art, PULSE, Conner Contemporary Art, lesbian, semantics, contact print

Untitled 1 (from Note to Self)Untitled 3 (from Note to Self)Binding Ritual, Daily Routine AversionSessionsBlood ScriptBlood Script

Washington, DC


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