Hematoma Auris

Les Ateliers January 2018


In 1997 the women’s World Wrestling Championship Tournament was held in Clermont-Ferrand. In 1987 the men’s World Wrestling Championship Tournament was held in Clermont-Ferrand.  I’m using these two anniversaries of 20 and 30 years as a jumping off point for this work and the context of Clermont-Ferrand. The champion wrestlers work for years while their moments of value only minutes. 


The reason why I am drawing on these facts is for a few reasons. 

I grew up in a small town in Western North Carolina where wrestling was as common as playing soccer. All of my friends wrestled and many of them had a medical condition from having a strong impact against their ears. The technical term for this is Hematoma Auris, but the slang word is “Cauliflower Ear.” I’ve been fascinated and grossed out by this term since I first heard it and witnessed blood being drawn from a patients ear after the cartilege is broken. 

The patient’s ear has the hematoma blood drawn from it and the result is scar tissue which resembles the vegetable cauliflower, hence the nick name. It is even depicted in some of the sculptures of antiquity. 

For this aspect I have created 3 “headphones” from Cauliflower for you to listen to the large window of the gallery with. There are compositions being played throughout the exhibition on loop. All of which were composed during this residency with Artistes-en-Residence, December 2017.

The other reason I’m exploring wrestling world champions is that close to where I lived in Philadelphia, the wrestler winning this world championship match in the video, Mark Schultz who won the championship in 1987 was part of a famous training camp called Foxcatcher run by Multi-millionaire John Dupont. Mark and his brother are famous not only because of their wrestling prowess, but also for the fact that John Dupont murdered Mark’s brother David after losing his mind slowly. This affected the entire wrestling community in the 1990’s, however, months later after his brother’s murder, Mark went on to win another championship. 

During this evening exhibition I will invite guests to eat the pasta choosing a blue or red sauce as well as perform a composition written for the occasion in celebration of the 1987 world championship match between Alexander Nanev and Mark Schultz.