Tuesday, 27 July 2010

blAck Eye pERcePtioNS!

I recently had a black eye, that if I do say so myself, was very 'cool'. Though unfortunately the story behind how I landed a black eye is slightly on the lame side of plastic shark and strings makes jaws!

Not by being a hero, not battling through the Antarctic or rough jungles of the Amazon, but by 'fake fighting'. - Aye that crazy world of stage combat.

I loved having my first black eye, I felt powerful like I was invincible etc. But what I noticed from seeing and observing other peoples reactions that saw my eye, began to make me feel self conscious. I felt judged, like I was a thug, and automatically other people placed a preconceived view on me, that I was trouble, and better still, that I deserved the black eye.

Through this experience my perception of myself and the black eye changed. I was no longer adopting a posture of 'I'm hard...look how cool I am'. But made to feel withdrawn and a recluse, and even ashamed of myself. Now this may be going to some extremes, but it was interesting to see this perception I and other people had and how it changed.

I questioned to myself; If I dressed more femininely in a dress and heels, or I was a heavily pregnant, or a sharp business suit, then would the perception and other peoples attitudes be different?
Or wearing ripped jeans, a band t-shirt, a lip piercing with a black eye place me in a category that is preconceived without knowing?

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

ICA Oscar Tuazon's installation

The ICA is at the moment hosting a giant installation by Oscar Tuazon.

This installation takes over the lower gallery space and even pushes the boundaries (quite literally) and breaks off into the adjoining rooms.

As soon as you walk into this space you are created with the smell of wood, and 'workman'. The installation is made up in a serious of beams, that uses the distinct choice not to be sanded, but rough and ready. It is what it is, beams of wood connected.

So what is so special about it? As soon as I walked into the space there is a feeling of play within the room. The urge to run from one wall to another, jumping of the beams, balancing on them and ducking and diving through the middle.

There is a huge performativity element with this structure that openly invites you to be fully immersed within its space. Its intriguing to follow the beams that head straight to the walls, to later find out they actually continue through them. Leading from the far office room, you can trace a beam to a beam to a beam that leads you back into the gallery room.

What I've found exciting about this work, is the idea that this is a living structure, it has life, its own routes and directions. That this life of the structure is actually starting to weaken. Due to weather conditions and the atmosphere in the ICA gallery has actually caused the structure to break, weaken and disconnect. Showing the raw and real fragility of such a massive and powering structure.

This piece screams exposure to me; blank spaces, empty rooms, weakness in structure is enduring to see.