Navigating between the social sphere and the studio I look for forms of protection, through language, through a shared history, through physical movement and body form. In order to understand how we build connections with the world and how we simultaneously isolate, forming layers of armor from various systems of violence and rejection.
To explore a new space, I radically modified my physical form. I physically altered my body to lose over 160 pounds, which in turn changed my physical appearance and internal organs. The dramatic changes have given way to a new sense of awareness of self in form and behaviors.
Using the space around the body as a primary focus, I maneuver through a private area unnoticed or forgotten. I collect these private moments and materials. These works focus on visceral and instinctive reactions and the occupation of body in space. Using insignificant moments, I attempt to make them monumental by memorializing them through sculpture.
Using environmental forms as metaphors for the body and for disruptions to its form. The way a tree ring is disrupted by fungus and how over pixilation and reflection can distort the body. I identify and expose silent oppressions, and then search for resolutions, forms of protection, and images of empowerment. Having understood the world as a morbidly obese woman, I was very aware of being “too much” and also “invisible”, overlooked, ignored, a disembodied figure. “I loved You, But We Haven’t Met” is a digital image printed on felt of my right hand that is 300% larger than life. The heart marks the space in which my hand is covered by another person’s body. For a moment, with the offering of my hand though the gesture of touch, I offer an invisible part of myself. This moment of connection is a small gift of space within and around my body to all those I meet. Its scale recognizes the importance and challenges with the act of caring for every person I meet.
Dieting is a process: an additive, subtractive and reductive form of sculpting, an attempt to build the perfect sculpture. Secret performances of weight loss and body image alteration are a way to move back and forth between my former form and new shapes. In the performance Building the Perfect Sculpture, I used my body as a “sculpture,” posing with plaster casts, replicated after Classic Venuses, in a museum gallery setting. In an attempt to question the gaze, I subvert the notions of classic beauty by adding my form to the conversation thereby rising to their empowered space.
These performances are a way to operate subversively within culture, collecting moments and emotions undetected, privately and publicly. I’m looking for answers regarding spatial relationships: between the interior and exterior of the body and between our perception of space and our occupation of it. The dynamics of the body, it’s internal forms of protection and layers of vulnerability.