Megan te Boekhorst, Ruby Lin, Dorcas Yeung: Unconcealable

School of Interactive Arts + Technology

"He hit me again. Can you help cover it?"

An interactive performance art piece that challenges the limits to the effects of domestic violence. We challenge you as an audience member to conceal the scars of the performer.

"The installation was created to argue for our inability and impotency in concealing the scars of domestic violence and for the unconcealable nature of these scars. We wanted to use the performance to shock our participants, put them in the role of ‘exemplary viewer’, stir uncomfortable emotions and create dialogue surrounding the issue of domestic violence.

Upon arrival, participants were given their goal – take on the role of exemplary viewer to cover up the scars of the abuse suffered by our performer. Then, with only the harsh light of a spotlight, they saw the bruised, cut and marked up performer curled up on a table. She wore a white dress representative of a wedding dress and duct tape covered her mouth just as abuse has a silencing effect on the victims. Beside her lay the tools provided to help conceal: make up and application brushes. The message behind her read “He hit me again. Can you help me cover it?” Derogatory words were written all over her body to represent the emotional abuse suffered.

Participants could spend as much time as they liked trying to cover the marks left by the abuser, directly interacting with the body of the performer. In the mean time, the performer would shake from fear, flinch in pain and at times began to cry. Eventually, participants were to realize their job was impossible and nothing would help our performer hide the pain, fear and scars.

Beyond the performance, we also created an online interactive platform using Twitter and an #unconcealable hashtag. Participants could read the reflections of others and were encouraged to share their own thoughts and experiences. This online, interactive platform was open for participants to dialogue on domestic abuse and spread the word."