I am here. It is unavoidably hot, narrow, and crowded. I am very aware of my own self, my posture, my shoulders, my knees. I bump into these things, slowly taking in their presence. I know that they are seeing me as I see them - alluring, arbitrary, attractive, ugly, different, familiar, warm, voluptuous, odd. Their intimacy is simultaneously unnerving and comforting, so I stare for a second and take it in. I start to question myself, do I belong here? Why do I want to be near them? What has been missing? What void can they fill? Before I know it I am overcome with curiosity. I am verging on obsession. I panic. I need to know every inch of their being. What can I be without them? My lust is repulsive.
As clearly as I see them, the intensity of my passion blurs their surface. Yet, I am so vividly aware of every wrinkle, all adding to the depth of their skin, which endlessly stretches, bends, and folds. I reach out to touch, unable to control the impulse. They are dripping, twisting, moving, flowing. We all come closer together and like a sea of sweat, an orchestra of human contact, we become one. It is euphoric.
And then as quickly as it came, the room and all that was within it disappeared. The vision slithered away. Their touch distant, their alien smell, our wholeness... I cannot fully recall.
Isabel Yellin (b. 1987, New York) lives and works in Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibitions include Tabula Rasa at Cabinet/Studiolo, Milan and You Gotta Be Bad You Gotta Be Good at Rear Window, NYC. She received an Artforum Critic’s Pick for her installation, Pillow Talk, here in Los Angeles at Skibum MacArthur in 2016. Isabel graduated with an MFA in painting from the Royal College of Art in London in 2014.