Editorial, by J.D. Taylor
The poet Federico Garcia Lorca once wrote that ‘only mystery makes us live’.
Strange then that, for a neoliberal era determined to penetrate and commercially recuperate every ‘outside’ zone, something so close to the bone as skin, that hypersensory border between self and the world, remains suffused with mystery.
The skin, like the mind, never presents itself as a blank canvas. From the outset it is determined by external identity markers like gender or colour. Skin is the most ubiquitous signifier of selfas-object: it is disciplined by shifting social definitions of health or beauty; it is clothed, marked or pierced, subjected to various regimes of hygiene. Yet skin is also the interface of human embodiment, the sensory envelope of our comfort, identity, pains and pleasures within the world. This troublesome, protective and unstable expanse is a continual texture of conflict, claimed and reclaimed in exercises, markers, inks and identities, compelling to touch.
For its eighth issue, Nyx, a Noctournal called on theorists and artists to investigate Skin. We present a series of new work tackling sexuality, gender, affect, pornography, love, self, the ego and the other, as well as more that slips categorisation. We question the writer Stewart Home, and the philosopher Catherine Malabou on it; translate voices from other cultures; and capture its glimpses in fiction, photography, and illustration.
Nyx, a Noctournal is a peer-reviewed print/online journal of art, politics and critical theory. It is edited and produced by researchers clustered around the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, London. Further work will be published online at nyxnoctournal.org, as well as the call for contributions for our next issue.
We hope you enjoy this body of work, and give special thanks to all our contributors and everyone who has helped put this issue together.
Cover Image: ‘The Feature (Isabelle)’ by Alice White
Editorial by JD Taylor
Super 8 by Hedi El Kholti
Eating Skins: Paper, Ink & Flesh in 6 courses by Traci Kelly
Like Faces Seen in Dreams by Alistair Cartwright
Those aren’t my parents by Tom Mortimer
Transmasculinities by Finn Jackson Ballard, with additional image by Liz Rosenfeld
Beauty Marked by Gemma Parker
Working on Skin by Phil Sawdon
Someone’s Always Missing Somewhere by Inge Hoonte
The ‘Common Skin’ – A phantasmatic image in psychoanalysis by Nadine Hartmann
Tattoo Virus: AIDS Representation on the Skin by Richard Sawdon Smith
Visible Unseen by Regina Agu
Untitled Image by Alessandro Ripane
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