urushiol tattoos

urushiol-induced contact dermatitis


The urushiol tattoo involves the temporary application of urushiol, (the active ingredient in posion ivy), directly to the surface of the skin. This exposure can prompt a reaction known as urushiol-induced contact dermatitis, a reaction which become increasingly worse with repeated exposure. Typically appearing within 24-48 hours of contact, and reamining for approximately 2 weeks, the reaction familiarizes a body with a substance through the possibility of discomfort. Approaching the skin as a site for intimate communication, the urushiol tattoo invites a practice of receptivity and precarity.

A waiver detailing the risks accompanies the tattoo's application

Administered at ACRE in July 2016, and at the Comfort Station in conjunction with Sensitive Plant by Robot Raushenberg

Images couretsy of Hugh Sato, Colin Mosely, and Yoshi Sakai