Video

Chop Off

M.M. Serra

2008, 06:00 minutes, colour, English

TAPECODE 404.01

Chop Off exposes the dark, fearful recesses of the human psyche by filming the body modification of the performance artist Chop Off. Literally risking “life and limb,” the artist’s body is his medium and amputation is his art. The very act of watching him often stimulates a cascading range of emotions, from disgust to fear to dread. While his practice at times defies representation or verbal articulation, Chop Off challenges an audience, which would normally do everything possible to turn its head away, to look and to see beauty differently. Viewers might be resistant to accepting this man’s impulse to claim body modification as body beautification. Embodying both Michelangelo and his David, this artist assiduously carves away at his own stone—his body—in search of a core that shakes the spectator. Chop Off not only tests the boundaries of art and the body, but he also, in turn, pushes limits of documentation and inspires MM Serra’s creative endeavors.

"Please please show this film! It's unique, it's real, it's not like any other film. What one sees in it, can not be seen anywhere else. It will shock some, but the fact is that there are shocking things in this word and we should know it and see it, nothing human should be hidden from knowledge. You made a very REAL film about REAL people. One of the most difficult things to do in cinema. I congratulate you." - Jonas Mekas

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