Doctor L specialises in bloodletting, the Therapy of Channelling in traditional Chinese medicine. In an online album only visible to herself, she files the cases she has handled according to their locations; intractable and rare diseases - shown as all kinds of abnormal blood samples - are filed in a separate folder. (When Doctor L is "bleeding" a patient, her assistant Y takes photos and films alongside. Her lens captures nothing indicative of a patient’s identity but entirely close-ups of the parts of bodies undergoing cupping and bleeding.) As L scrolls through her phone, explaining to me glutinous images reeking of blood, she sees holes leaking information. What do I see? … An attraction for sensational novelty instantly distorted the basic context of bloodletting as a medical method, while at the same time concealed some subtle things. Rather, it was the subtler things - references and the unseen add-ons - melded in one place that creates the loose sense of attraction for sensational novelty.
I - imitating her assistant - also aimed my camera at the effective unit of bloodletting: a needle (pierces through) skin (seeping / flowing / leaking) blood. A "gestural prick" forms - once a gesture enters the category of symbols, it will be rewritten in the organic and spectral chain of substitution. The task is obvious, to suspend bloodletting, that is, to "bleed" bloodletting.
Dakota Guo is an artist based in Beijing, obtained a BA degree on Drama and Theatre Arts at Goldsmiths,University of London, before taking the MA Performance Practice as Research at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. She is now working at the Institute for Provocation(IFP).