(via obeast book update |)
Okay. This woman is seriously blowing my fucking mind right now. Check her artist’s statement and get into what she’s doing because it is brilliant. - Haley
From her statement:
My most visible role in the project is performing as the North American Obeast, a fictitious genus of endangered mammals. I embody three species of male and female obeasts, which superficially resemble each other in the way that zebras, mice, crows, and other fauna do. This animalistic indistinction to the careless eye reflects and satirizes the socially perceived ‘all-the-sameness’ of fat people. This kind of dehumanizing, reductive thinking is brought to light in the MOCS project through exaggeration of the largely unexamined cultural perceptions and anxieties about fat. The obeast performs fat as our culture represents it: simple-minded, undisciplined, endangered yet threatening. By enacting the stigma and dehumanization of obesity literally, the everyday stigmatization of (and anxiety about) obese people becomes darkly humorous, rather than merely pitiable.
The narrative’s absurdity mirrors the real-life absurdity of ideological thinking, and creates an opportunity to consider a more nuanced perspective of ascribed and asserted identity formation. By borrowing the trappings of legitimizing scholarly fields (e.g. archaeology, history, biology, museology) to teach viewers about the fictional North American Obeast, the project asks viewers to think critically about how facts and cultural identities are made, and by whom. In this way, the work plays upon not only the stigma and cultivated anxiety surrounding the so-called “obesity epidemic,” but also the conventions of information dispersion in American culture.
I think it is a very actual subject and i understand your concern as a designer since you have the responsibility of the message you will convey in your work.
Do you know Annette Messager? She is a french artist, and she got a very sensible and feminine approach in her work. One of her piece is called “Annette Messager collectionneuse,Tortures Volontaires” (Annette Messager collects : Voluntary Tortures) : it is a collection of photographic images which once put together emphasize the cruelty behind cosmetic or beauty related actions. She did also some works related to motherhood, love, death… i guess it is as well body related.
Gina Pane (1939-1990) who was part of the Body-Art Movement was clearly working on the suffering of the body in order to expose it’s vulnerability. She was exposing a fragile body and a kind of sensibility that the society would like to occult.
The artist Wang Du, with his piece called “Family”, is giving another reality to mediatic people by giving them an aging, fatter body with floppy skin. He is then making an opposition between the willing of perfection of those who are using esthetic surgery and realistic ugliness with criticism and irony.
Ron Mueck, with his piece called “Untitled (Big Man)”, and all his other sculptures, is presenting us very realistic human bodies, but always at different scale. The visitors can feel the strangness of seeing another reflects of themselves but in the same time, the change of scale create a distance that allow observation and subjectivity in order to recreate a personal stories for each caracter. I think it is realy intersting because he emphasize the need of human beings to see a story attached to a body.
More personaly, I think that in this consumerist world, our society uses many ways to sale more : by making up unnecessary desires (the cereals with a taste “more chocolate then chocolate”), by enlarging the targeting field (ex: make-up is not just for women it is also for little girls) and mostly by increasing the exposure of advertising in our lives. It would be crazy to assume that it doesn’t have an influence on us. I know that there is not possibly any way that chocolate tastes more then chocolate, i know that sexualizing a little girl by telling her she needs make-up might be a strong wrong influence for her hole life, i know that all those images and references surrounding me with all those beautiful and thin models partially remolded on photoshop is an inaccessible ideal… But it is thought what is surrounds me, it is thought a strong link between me and the rest of the society… It is almost a tacit list of laws : women must be attractive and sexualized, i must have the last technology to prove I’m part of this world, i must have the bigger and faster car to prove my virility etc…. and if i don’t, I’m guilty!! The way we consume, the way we desire definitely has an influence on our body and on the way we perceive it.
(see also Beauty Kit animated video, produced by Pleix)
Added to that, this same consumerist world pushed the food chain to the summit of stupidity : it is more expensive and more difficult to access fresh and healthy food then junk, over-added and over-packaged food. The fact that women are asked to have a career is not helping, the times to grow and cook healthy food for the family is over. Some people eat too much, some people are not eating enough but most of them are not eating good quality food and it has a more important consequences on our bodies then advertising. But i guess it then another subject ;-) …
I’m looking forward to see your blog evolving.
Submitted by yummyformyeyes
The Disobedient Dollhouse. 2009-10.
Mixed media installation.
The dollhouse is a toy fondly remembered from my childhood. Countless hours were spent fastidiously arranging the miniature furniture in its rooms. These rooms provided the setting for the domestic scenes myself and my playmates would enact with our dolls — scenes that mimicked the day-to-day household routines of our mothers. This form of play amongst young girls was not only an imitation of the maternal role as we observed it, but, presumably, constituted a type of practice for our future lives as women. Now, as an adult, feminist, artist and mother, I revisit the dollhouse. The idealized view of domesticity that informed my childhood dollhouse is reconfigured by my adult self as a place much more complex, even contradictory, in nature. In stark contrast to the innocuous role-playing of childhood — when one could ‘play Mommy’ — as an actual parent, the actions I take have real life consequences. This simple fact can, at times, be the cause of anxiety. Additionally, while the household provides a peaceful refuge from the hectic pace of the outside world, the daily negotiations between career aspirations and familial responsibilities simultaneously render the house a site of friction and conflict. An exploration of the conflicts that arise from these competing interests was, in part, the impetus behind my installation project entitled The Disobedient Dollhouse.
Try Mary Kelly for feminism :)
I did a researched paper on her when I was a student too.
She has many good stuff!
This is one of her most famous work
I hope that will help you a little bit.
Thank you! I am looking through some of her installations now and I really love her work.
Some of the info I’ve found on her so far is really lovely.
Mary Kelly is known for her project-based work, addressing questions of sexuality, identity and historical memory in the form of large-scale narrative installations.
I would love for this project to produce some sort of installation as a culmination of everything I make and/or put into this project.