Saturday, December 03, 2005

ART/LIFE EXPERIMENT

For this experiment, I chose to paint and unpaint my nails for three hours. For three hours I repeated the process of applying and removing color from fingernails. This experiment was rather difficult, not really to perform, but rather to interpret into art. I did find that at certain times the process, from performing it over and over again, began to seem rather surreal. I honestly don't know whether it was from just the redundant process, or if the actual everyday "ritual" begain to truly morph into art. I suppose the difference between the art I made by painting my nails over and oaver again and the mere process of painting my nails is much like I said before: the process became incredibly surreal. I felt like I was in a daze, and each stroke of nail polish was a kind of art in and of itself. I suppose that answers the first question why my performance was art. From this project, I believe art to be whatever you make it. While the majority would agree that painting and re-painting your fingernails isn't quite the "art" one would expect, it did, in my opinion, reflect a some type of art, only one of which someone in my position could understand. As for explaining the difference between art and life.... I suppose the only real way to answer that question would be to explain that it is truly up to the artist and the interpretation of the art itself. Like before, the painting of fingernails seems nothing like art by itself, until the act of painting my nails became art to me. Art is, if you will, in the eye of the beholder.

Monday, November 28, 2005

PSA Project

"When will the obsession stop?"

The significance of the text is to express the pressure for women to live up to a certain societal standard, one which is practically impossible to obtain. The "obsession" can be any one of these pressures: weight, hair, make-up, clothing, etc. that present-day society is forcing upon women. However, the obsession can be easily categorized into one pressure: the pressure to be beautiful.

The text was installed on a mirror, specifically in a bathroom (where the majority of their time is spent trying to live up to these impossible standards), to convey that women are constantly surveying themselves in any type of reflection that may cross their paths. This obsession to incessantly asess their appearance is increasingly encouraged by society and women themselves who unknowingly fall into the trap of striving for unexisting perfection. And the question remains: when will the obsession stop?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

FILM STILLS PROJECT

While my film stills don't necessarily look like they could be taken out of a movie, they are, in fact, representative of a particular film. The film is one of my own. Not too long ago, I filmed a short experimental piece, "Untitled", which displayed the pressure of a teenage girl being forced by society to look "beautiful" and succombing to these pressures by applying make-up, representing her demise through the consumption of a slushie. As odd as it sounds, it came out relatively decent. I worked mainly with the color red: the slushie, the "girl's" skin tone, and the color of the make-up she was applying. As the character applied make-up, the slushie progressively was consumed. By the end, the character's face was "all done up" and the slushie was empty. Symbolism and meaning are completely up to interpretation.

As the character applied the make-up, I focused in on each of her main features: eyes, cheeks, and lips. For this project, I decided to focus of just the lips and the application of lip gloss. These photos may appear redundant, which exactly exemplifies my point. The process of applying make-up, day after day, becomes incredibly repetitive, to myself, if only. While the end product is cleaner, both in physicality of the character, and the picture quality itself, it is representative that the end product, while appearing better, is a very frustrating process, as seen in the other pictures.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Self-portrait 4

I chose to put myself in the the fantastical space of a book. My new landscape includes a collage consisting of multiple images that I need to live, including various items of food, such as coffee. I fit into this landscape, literally, as a painting of just the top of my head in the lower right-hand corner. My head is down as if I'm reading a book, deeply enthralled in the material "at hand". Figurativley, this reveals the interactions of my personal landscape and the actual world. Putting myself into the book shows my deep love for literature and how when deeply enthralled in a piece of writing, nothing exists around me except for this and how I actually feel as though I am part of the book. With this project, I could literally put myself into a book.





Sunday, October 23, 2005

SELF-PORTRAIT #3

For this self-portrait I decided to embody a woman who has had a tremendous impact on my views based on the issues of feminism and womanhood: Kathleen Hanna. If you’re not already familiar, Kathleen Hanna made her mark on the world when she introduced her band, Bikini Kill, onto the music scene. This band helped to identify the movement known as Riot Grrl, defined as a form a hardcore punk music, known for its militant feminist stance. Though her present band, Le Tigre, which mixes dance rhythms with politically aware lyrics, has made Hanna a more pronounced name in the music scene, Bikini Kill will always remain spinning in my stereo.
In the CD booklet of “The CD Version of the First Two Records”, Hanna included an original essay entitled “Jigsaw Youth”. This essay, as the title suggests, describes selfhood as a process of reinvention, as well as connection, of the fractional pieces of an identity.
As you can see, I put a jigsaw-like portrait of Kathleen Hanna in the upper left-hand corner and a copy of Hanna’s essay in the opposite corner. In order for this to be representational, “me but not me”, I included the copy of “Jigsaw Youth” that I typed up on a vintage typewriter. This, I feel, incorporates “me” more than enough. I hardly ever use my typewriter because it is so old, and once ink on the ribbon demises, the typewriter will be a mere eyesore. However, this statement meant so much to me that I felt to reiterate it properly, typing it on a priceless typewriter will, therefore, turn her words into a solid, priceless artifact, whose meaning I will only understand.




Here is a copy of Hanna’s essay:

JIGSAW YOUTH by Kathleen Hanna

We live in a world that tells us we must choose an identity, a career, a relationship, and commit... to these situations… as if we know what’s gonna happen tomorrow, as if we aren’t ever gonna change, as if we don’t live in a world of constant flux… which we do.
Don’t freak out cuz the jigsaw is laying on the floor and it’s all the way done and has been laying there for 4 whole hours now, resist the freak out, you will get to it… it’s all part of the process.

To force some forever identity on other people is stupid. Point out inconsistencies in their behavior, explain how they are not truly what they say because you saw them do this one time… why?Because it is easier to deal with cardboard cut outs than real people, cuz a lot of us pretend like we’re the center of the universe sometimes and everyone is just background extras in the movie we imagine we star in. WELL WHILE WE ARE ALL ARGUING ABOUT WHOSE ONNA GET TO OPEN FOR THE MELVINS, WHOSE GONNA WEAR WHAT TO THE PARTY, WHOSE LAME/TAME BECAUSE THEY PERPETUATE THIS THING WE HATE, WHO IS NOT REALLY A PUNK ROCKER CUZ: I remember when he/she used to listen to Duran Duran. THE REVOLUTION IS GOING DOWN… no its not happening without us, it is just plain not happening at all… it is going down under the gurgling sounds of our own voices, reproducing the voice of our parents in a slightly altered way, the tv people…trying to dictate to each other what it is and what it isn’t cool or revolutionary or true resistance, what is or isn’t true in other peoples lives we sit around making all these boxes and labels, nothing to put in them, we are wasting valuable time. FUCK THAT SHIT, LETS START TALKING FOR REAL.

To be a stripper who is a feminist, to be an absurd child holding a microphone screaming all those things that were promised, in one way or another, I won’t tell. These are contradictions I have lived. They exist, these contradictions cuz I exist. Every fucking feminist is not the same, every fucking girl is not the same, okay???Because I live in a world that hates women and I am one…who is struggling desperately not to hate women, myself, my best girlfriends, my whole life is constantly felt by me as a contradiction. In order for me to exist I must believe that two contradictory things can exist in the same space. This is not a choice I make, it just is.

JIGSAW, a puzzle made up of all different weird shaped pieces. It seems like it will never come together, it makes no sense, but it can and it does and it will. Jigsaw, pieces like where you grew up and in what kind of fucked up culture and do you have a penis or not and did your parents have money and did you get teased for wearing the same coat four winters in a row and are you Thai-American or Black or Mulatto? And what do all these things mean when you are trying to resist, do something, have a good time??? I see the jigsaw, fuzzy in my head as everything else, sometimes clear. The fat that he grew up in a working class family has everything to do with how he is gonna express sexism, what kind of music he is gonna like, how I am gonna treat him. Jigsaw girl, she got fucked up by her father, 8 years, people say she’s flakey and inconsistent, lays in her bed eating donuts, resisting going outside where the silence will engulf her, rather sit there eating than always be eaten up… her experience has everything to do with how the pieces are fitting together or not for her, judge her from your place without wondering whats going on in that there Jigsaw mind of hers, and you have pushed her further away from clicking, her hand wants so bad to feel, one edge against another, together, one piece next to another, locking into place… you have to be able to see the puzzle before you start putting it together.

Resistance is everywhere, it always has been and always will be. Just because someone is not resisting in the same way you are, being a vegan, an out lesbian, a political organizer, does not mean they are not resisting. Being told you are a worthless piece of shit and not believing it is a form of resistance. One girl calling another girl to warn her about a guy who date raped her, is another. And while she may look like a big haired makeup girl who goes out may not be fighting in the same loud way that some of us can, and do, it is the fact that she is resisting that connects us, puts a piece together.
Jigsaw Youth, I don’t know what this means anymore than anymore… only what it means to me. Standing proud and saying: I don’t know who I am, I wanna know more, I am not afraid to say things that matter to me.
Assuming that people are either part of the problem or part of the solution disincludes a lot of people, who, at this moment, do not feel and, therefore ARE NOT safe enough, emotionally, physically and/or financially to resist in the same ways you might be… by judging people according to your standards of resistance, or whatever…it makes it harder for people to recognize what they’re doing as being important and political etc…it makes it harder for them to get into safe enough situations and where they can resist in more outward community-oriented ways if they want to.
Jigsaw Youth, the island of lost and broken toys, feminists who wear lipstick, people who envision the land of do as you please, whose lives are not simple and they are sick of trying to make themselves cohesive enough to fit into a box. Jigsaw Youth, listening, strategizing, tolerating, screaming, confronting, fearless, girl soldiers, boy lovers, boofy haired teen girls scraping out the eyes on a photo of Rick Astely. Jigsaw Youth, the misunderstood seeking to understand other peoples reality. Making mistakes… making mistakes… making mistakes… feeling something, knowing you will never see the puzzle us all together but trying anyways cuz each fucking piece really matters and being with friends matters.
JIGSAW YOUTH… inventing and reinventing what these words mean.

Monday, October 17, 2005

CARTOON QUILT

I didn't find it that difficult to describe my family history using images rather than words. While it wasn't easier, and quite possibly not the most efficient way to portray the difficult journey of my grandfather and his family, I do believe my point was conveyed thoroughly.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

SELF PORTRAIT #1

As a "self-portrait", I originally found it very difficult to portray myself with being only limited to a photograph of the back of my head. Then, after some thought, I decided to take the picture of myself holding my skateboard behind my head because skateboarding used to be a huge part of my life. Because the photographers that we studied in class questioned gender, I decided to do the same with my photograph. I used various objects and colors to represent masculinity and femininity . As you saw, the skateboard represents masculinity. I painted the skateboard to get my point across further. Featured on the skateboard is a boy outlined in black, smoking, with his eyes closed. He represents the ignorant male perspective. Also, I painted the nose and tail of the skateboard black to represent masculinity. As you can see, the black seems to be running down into the white background, representing the takeover of women's rights. If you haven't already noticed, I used the color white to represent femininity. The background is painted white (with the boy's back to it furthering is ignorance), the white shirt I'm wearing (signifying I'm a girl), and the white calla lilly in my hair (resembling a vagina, I don't think it could symbolize womanhood any more!).
While I don't skate much anymore because of the constant chastisement from the pretentious male skate community that I had received, I will always look back on that time with a smile.