I am addressing the human form that once expressed the commercial idea of the “beautiful” male or female body, the expected norm in today’s modern society. The idea that there is such a thing as perfect beauty can be found most directly in the mannequins. By altering these forms to something threatening, but relatable to the average person, I hope to call attention to this dangerous idea of a generic norm of identity. My intentions are not to glorify harmful acts upon the body but to call attention to a few social justice issues under sex and gender identity umbrella.
These mannequins represent the ideal human figure that today’s modern society accepts as normal. Because of this, the issue of these “perfect bodies” eliminates not only the personal identity, but cultural or ethnic identity of those around us. Throughout my process I try to alter or eliminate this imposed idea of perfection so that the viewer is made aware of this trap that surrounds us as we try to locate ourselves in society.
I use various materials not natural to the human body to evoke a response from the viewer to reexamine the use of these bodies to represent all of society. Thus demonstrating the bondage the average person feels when confronted with the daily presentation of these body images. I aim to confront the viewer’s expectations of the ideal body type, as well as, the sex and gender identity issues using materials that represent a web or barbed wire that binds us in an unnatural way to these so called perfect forms of female and male bodies.
Representation is important in today’s society and I think about this idea everyday whether it’s through art or people. Calling attention to the pain and struggle surrounding issues of identity to those who may not notice how they are being manipulated is something we should strive to confront.