The Book of Love Bites

The Book of Love Bites
By Zane Cerpina

An intimate love letter to another body

The Book of Love Bites is an intimate and personal love letter to another body. A body I have designed through my bites. A body that over time has become a site of extensive and somatic experimentation. Now a medium and material of my art. On, in and under the skin of my chosen body. Art – unerasable.

The book consists of close-up photography of the love bites I have performed repeatedly over a period of four years. Most of them repeat on the same spot over and over. Some of the photo evidence has been lost, some never taken. The lost bites you can only find inscribed in the skin of my chosen.

The Book of Love Bites is a self-portrait of my own bodily desires and instincts exposed through a carnal act of tasting another’s skin. The bites you see, are signs of love, desire, passion, but also care. Some are a physical act of power. Others – a somatic provocation.

I know the body I have used and abused well by now. I know it through my teeth that have left their mark. Sometimes in the form of scars. My bite is a tool of inscription. My teeth write in the flesh. I can bite light – leaving no evidence aside from a momentary sign. I can bite harder – to feel the blood vessels crack up, to make the bruise expand under the skin. If I bite hard enough – the skin gives in and breaks.

My bite is of a dangerous kind. It is, after all, a human bite – one of the most dangerous ones amongst animals. A human bite contains 100 million organisms per millimeter. My bite holds up to 190 species of anaerobic organisms that can easily lead to an infection. I break the skin – the imprint stays.

I bite my loved one’s skin over and over, expecting the same taste, texture and the sensation of crackling material. Yet the skin changes with every bite. It gets less sensitive, rougher, thicker. And the layers of scar tissue become visible and permanent. With time I must bite harder to leave my mark.

I still bite.

Author: Zane Cerpina
Photography: Zane Cerpina
ISBN (Print) 978-82-999888-7-2
ISBN (PDF) 978-82-999888-6-5
© 2019, Ghost Publishing

The Book of Love Bites was exhibited at Extravagant Bodies Festival 2019: Extravagant Love, by Kontejner. Location: HALA V of The Nikola Tesla Technical Museum (Zagreb)