Drawn by Blood goes a step further in both the limits of the performative act and of the ritualistic form of creation. Franzen’s fascination with the spiritual nature of blood, and its use for shamanic and religious practices are of great importance for this work. The creational process attains the status of a ritual in veneration of life-forces, in which the drawing is reduced to lines, the creator to his breath and ink to his own blood.
The process of creation starts with a syringe. The artist gives his blood, which is later transformed into a useable medium by adding anticoagulant. The blood becomes the ink, and Franzen begins his act of performing one line with each breath. None of the lines touch each other, existing as parallel forms of creation, where every line is a repetition of the first act. The act involves the blood that transports the inhaled oxygen to our organs and muscles, and the breath that comes from the blood that paints and determines the direction of the lines. The result is a stunning painting where the lines create visual waves, and the colours change over time, due to the characteristic of the medium. These will first be red, and later orange, depending on the exposure to the natural light.
The physical qualities of the medium enhance the symbolic meaning, in the context of the ritual, extremely important in Franzen’s artistic project.
Drawn by Blood implies a transition from the organic element, the body to an artificial medium, present in the canvas. It implies a transition from life to death, which is embodied in the process of thickening and fading. Drawn by Blood constitutes the next sequence within Franzen’s cosmology. The artist continues to explore the origins of creation, and reflects upon an existence of nothingness and nature in the universe. This process involves working with the most basic components of life, such as breath and blood, combining the ritual and the experiment in both an artificial and natural process.
Franzen’s aim is to investigate the very basic existential principles of creation process and of the universe, in a similar form to Each Line One Breath, but with the use of closer technique to the body. One basic component of the human body is blood, and such experimentation leads to the creation of an artistic project that takes Franzen’s own physical existence as a motif, transcending the bodily boundaries as a human being. The artist’s fascination with spiritual nature of blood, and its use for shamanistic and religious practices makes clear how the creational process attains the status of a ritual in veneration of life-forces. In Drawn by Blood each breath is a line made of the creator’s blood, which implies a true organic signature of a creator on a truly unique artistic piece.