The Dermis Probe is a collection of extracts from the written and oral tradition of Eastern thinkers.
The title piece is a modern retelling of the blind men and an elephant used by the poet and mystic Jalaludin Rumi in his Masnavi in the latter half of the thirteenth century.
Shah’s adaptation begins with a conference of scientists from different fields of expertise, presenting their distorted conclusions on the material which the camera is focused upon. As the camera slowly zooms out, it becomes clear for the first time that the material under examination is the hide of an African elephant. The words ‘The Parts Are Greater Than The Whole’ then appear on the screen.
The Guardian review commented: ‘Shah’s materials take people by surprise... such a sharp angle to our current conventions... like a peep-show into a world which most people do not imagine exists.’