dual video projections, 3:13 min loop
I began recording myself at the gym working out. I have taken close-up shots of my breasts jiggling as I walk on the tread mill titled, Sexy Bitch;the other shots focuses on my butt as I work out on the elliptical choreographed to the hip hop music that I listen to while at the gym. I found that this music is all about objectifying women’s bodies, but I enjoy listening to it. I was reluctant to do this work because of the use of my own body in the work. Am I objectifying myself or am I confident in myself as a female not being an object; that it would be impossible to objectify myself?
A Piece of Cake
performance, cake shop, hand thrown ceramic plate, desires
In A Piece of Cake, I documented my summer diet using photographs of everything I ate. I also photographed my body every day, and documented my workouts and diet plans. Throughout the diet, I desired sweets the most. In denying myself these desires for decadent treats, I began to think about the function of desires. Using influences from my craft background in clay, as I lost weight I would make a plate in clay according to the weight that I had lost. The loss was important to me as if I was losing a piece of myself in this process of dieting. I wanted to capture the weight loss and represent it in a functional way. With each plate that I made, I connected the weight loss with the object that I did not consume. I then constructed a specific plate for each item I did not eat and stamped into the plate the name of the treat along with the calories that were in the treat. The plate would also have the weight of the clay and the weight that I lost, both of which would be equivalent stamped into it as well.
I set up shop at The Wynwood Art Fair in Miami for a three day performance. I sold the plates in my fake bakery shop to fairgoers. I was dressed in an apron with the title of my work, A Piece of Cake, on the front in pink letters, and I called out to people to “consume my desires” and to “take my weight, buy the plate.” The crowds of people responded, some with reluctance to consume my calories, and some with delight to be a part of the process. I received dieting tips from many ladies, and one man would only buy something if I ate a bite with him. In the end, A Piece of Cake was successful in that my process and desires were shared with others who shared the same desires for food I did.
video, 2:47 min loop
ed of 5
Some body involves a self-recording of me in a handmade stretchy body suit sewing on pieces of “fat” to my body. This work is about the body and a self-hate and self-love relationship. It’s about the body changing, losing and gaining unwanted weight, but at the same time finding comfort in your body as it is. The video is set to the music from a popular song on the radio, about a break up. I feel my body is somebody that I used to know.
Sweet or Savory? 3,500 calories
porcelain slipped popcorn and cupcakes, mixed media
I physically remove the food, but still represented its form. I wanted the viewers to desire an object that resembled food, but I disrupted their pleasure by not being able to eat the actual object. I also wanted them to know that this object once was an edible delight, but that I had destroyed it. I came up with Sweet or Savory? (3,500 calories). This art work was made by dipping actual popcorn in porcelain liquid slip, then firing them in a kiln. The actual popcorn physically burns away leaving the porcelain shell; the same with the cupcakes. The idea of the burning of the food was fascinating, not only am I destroying my desires, but I am memorializing them. The body burns calories, and the kiln burns my desires. These porcelain shells will be in the museum tantalizing the viewers. They will be able to take some with them, but discover quickly after touching them that the food is not real. There were some people who actually tried to take a bite of the cupcakes, and I had to quickly tell them it was made of ceramic, and they could not eat it. This mimics the feeling of being on a diet, by not being able to eat what you want. In, A Piece of Cake, you are able to indulge, later to find out your calorie intake, in Sweet or Savory? (3,500 calories), you can’t indulge, and desire is not satiated, but forever preserved in the object.
In all my works disrupted pleasure is the underlying theme. I use my body in my work to disrupt the conventional understanding of the gaze. I am questioning what beauty really is, and the opposite, objectification that comes with it. I am questioning desires and their grotesque nature, and allowing for new understandings of the self. I explore loss, and the vanity of losing part of yourself. I explore the nature of giving a gift, and my own perverse satisfaction in disrupting the pleasure of others.
Through clay, video, performance, photography, prosthesis, and food I displace the pleasure of consumption onto other parts of my body. Also, I displace pleasure from the viewer by subverting their visual pleasure at looking at a voluptuous female body, tantalizing the viewer at first, and then confronting them with a grotesque prosthetic goiter. Making the viewer feel the body not just see the body, this is more of a visceral approach and less visual.
Disrupted Pleasure, Savory
Video, 5:21 min loop
ed of 5
The female body is in a typical pose. The viewer’s pleasure is met with disgust as an ugly growth like orifice appears. The female begins to mindlessly eat popcorn feeding her new orifice. These addresses subconscious desire, voyeurism, and disrupts the gaze.
Disrupted Pleasure, Sweet
Video, 5:15 min loop
ed of 5
The female body is about to be undressed for the viewer’s satisfaction, but instead they are confronted with a grotesque goiter. This is deliberate in exploring what is satisfaction, while disrupting the viewers and my own pleasure. Denying the mouth pleasure, and finding a displaced pleasure. Instant gratification inevitably turns to self-loathing.