FAU’s Tattoo Documentary in International Film Festival
"Stories on the Skin: Tattoo Culture at FAU" is a revealing portrait of the 21st century tattoo culture to support the notion that tattooed bodies are walking books.
“Stories on the Skin: Tattoo Culture at FAU,” a 39-minute documentary created by FAU students, staff and faculty to support the notion that tattooed bodies are walking books, has been accepted into the 30th annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) for screening.
By carol-lewis-west | 10/26/2015
“Stories on the Skin: Tattoo Culture at FAU,” a 39-minute documentary created by Florida Atlantic University students, staff and faculty to support the notion that tattooed bodies are walking books, has been accepted into the 30th annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) for screening on Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 9 p.m. at the Cinema Paradiso, 503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale. Admission is $8 for students and $10 for the general public.
The film, a revealing portrait of the 21st century tattoo culture, features FAU students who share the motivations, memories and meanings behind their tattoos. Produced in 2012, the documentary is a spinoff of the Stories on the Skin project, an ongoing creative collaboration that was launched in 2010 between FAU Libraries’ Arthur and Mata Jaffe Center for Book Arts and Karen J. Leader, Ph.D., an assistant professor of art history in the Department of Visual Arts and Art History at FAU.
“The whole Stories on the Skin concept, from its incarnation as a research project to its progression to a performance series and finally to this film, comes out of FAU's Jaffe Center for Book Arts, where we hold a very expansive view of what defines a book,” said John Cutrone, the Jaffe Center’s director. “The center and this project are both about broadening perspectives.”
The Stories on the Skin collaboration has included participants from every department, college and campus at FAU. Thousands of students submitted stories and pictures as class assignments. Other byproducts include a survey, a photo exhibition and catalog, live performances and an archive of stories and photographs that has become part of FAU Libraries’ permanent collection. Leader has delivered numerous conference papers and published a peer-reviewed article, with another under review.
“As an art historian collaborating with a center committed to books as aesthetic objects, our focus is on a visual medium, the tattoo, and the textual component, the narrative, which through interpretation and performance, offer a deeper understanding of the artful presentation of the self to the world, on the pages of the body,” said Leader, who along with the late Arthur Jaffe, were the film’s executive producers.
Susan Rosenkranz is the film’s writer and producer, and FAU benefactor Marleen Forkas is the film’s co-executive producer. Patricia Koppisch, a designer and photographer at FAU Libraries, is the film’s assistant producer and photographer. Clarence Brooks, an associate professor and director of dance at FAU, and Caren Neile, Ph.D., School of Communications and Multimedia Studies at FAU, are among the professors in the documentary.
“Teachers sometimes forget how much we can learn from our classes,” said Neile, a professional storyteller. “By helping me understand the significance of tattoos as both text and performance, this project has expanded my vision of my work, my students and my world.”
FAU’s tattoo documentary are among 100 films from more than 30 countries that will be screened during the 28-day festival. FLIFF is the largest film festival in the world and the state’s second oldest.
Tickets can be purchased at www.fliff.com/movies/stories-on-the-skin-tattoo-culture-at-fau/#tickets