Learning To Love You More




Assignment #11
Photograph a scar and write about it.

Annie Chester
Brooklyn, New York USA



Ian said we'd burn each other for the project. It was his idea and his project. I was an integral part, he said, and I had to build up my tolerance for physical pain if I was to participate. This made sense to me. He needed me. I was essential.
His project that would "change the face of contemporary art forever" was confusing, but I trusted him and he said we had to do this for the art. I burned him first. This was our compromise. He could sense my hesitation, so he offered up his arm first, and I let the hot wax drip. When he flinched from the pain, he smiled saying this was what was necessary. We were doing the right thing by letting this candle scald the delicate skin.
We chose the same place on each of our arms, like we were entering into a secret society with a holy ritual. We'd be temporarily scarred in the same place. But it wasn't temporary. When the wax hit my skin, it bubbled and stung. Ian said not to worry, it would go away and I trusted him so I let it sting. Now you and I have started this thing, he said. This is the first step and we made it.
The project, from what I was later able to assess, involved currents of electricity being conducted through a human body. I don't know if it would have changed the face of contemporary art forever, but I'm pretty sure it would've changed someone's face. Lucky for me it only changed this small patch of skin on my arm.