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Continuing Progression of Statement of Intent for my Final Degree Show at Central Saint Martins


    I have originally planned to explore surgery on the body, to cut, incise, penetrate and manipulate. I am deeply fascinated by the act of transformation of the body from bodily processes to external extensions and restrictions. The works of Matthew Barney, Joel- Peter Witkin, Richard Serra and Stelarc have pushed me to look at the skin as a barrier or a restriction; and once this barrier has been manipulated or modified you are free from constraint and can be released from yourself.

    The hyperbole of the Carnivalesque comes into context, the act if pushing our bodies to the extreme. Eating to stretch skin, violence and sexual endeavours, we use the idea of the ‘Carnival’ to release our animalistic urges before the confines from lent.

    I want to create objects of unease and sensuality to stretch, squeeze and invade the flesh in a grotesque realization of a second existence.


AC

Joel-Peter Witkin 

Joel-Peter Witkin


'Figure 1' Poussin in Hell, 1999

'Figure 2' Story from a Book, 1999


Photographer Joel-Peter Witkin uses strong graphic imagery to convey a sense of discomfort. He often uses dismembered bodies from morgues to manifest imaginings. Bestiality, death, decay, sexual gratification, dismembered and sexual indifference are commonplace in his work, he creates a transgressive, degradative domain.

I like the expression of death in his work, as I’m fascinated with the process of the human body, internally and externally, ‘Degradation here means coming down to earth, and contract with the earth and an element that swallows up and gives birth at the same time. To degrade is to bury, to sow, and to kill simultaneously, in order to bring forth something more and better. To degrade also means to concern oneself with the lower stratum of the body, the life of the belly and the reproductive organs; it therefore relates to acts of defecation and copulation, conception, pregnancy, and birth. Degradation digs a bodily grave for a new birth; it has not only a destructive, negative aspect, but also a regenerating one’ (Bakhtin 1984: 19-21).


AC

'Figure 1' Amanda Lepore photographed by David La Chapelle (original source: lord-satan)

'Figure 2' Amanda Lepore (photographer unknown)

Pushing body to the extremes in surreal fantastical way

These two images embody the ‘Carnivalesque’, firstly with the nightclub as the ‘Marketplace’ for misbehaviour and extremities, drinking, nudity and sexual abuse. The latter examples self-inflicted modification, I see this punishing transformation of the body as modification rather than mutilation as its purpose is to look like your ideal, our bodies are what we own, our prima materia, the raw basis of material. I feel as though surgical enhancements are not far from curious acts like body suspension, which is different in being a temporary evolvement of the skin.

AC

Transgender Amanda Lepore in all her ‘glory’ 

Transgender Amanda Lepore in all her ‘glory’ 

(via vomitinggreed)

aspectacularsociety:
Bruce Nauman, Body Pressure 1974
     ‘Concentrate on the tension in the muscles, 
pain where bones meet, fleshy deformations that occur under pressure; consider 
body hair, perspiration’, (Body Pressure 1974).

    Pushing and manipulating the body is a humanly and exotic experience, using the body and flesh as a tool to interact with another material. 
    The glass acts as material that ‘isn’t there’, clear and public. In Matthew Barney’s Cremaster 3, we see amputee Aimee Mullins adorn a pair of bizarre prosthetic legs formed from clear polyethylene, the clear glass like material acts as a subtle connection between Aimee Mullin’s and the ground. I love the idea of materials acting humanly or earthy, ‘A sculptor like Serra relies upon the epic solidity of the industrial materials like lead and steel, Barney’s sculptures, on the other hand, are at their best when they are in an unstable equilibrium, as though they might melt or crumble at any moment. Like human bodies in a way, Barney’s sculptures exist only under special, rarefied conditions’ (Baird D, 2003).

AC

aspectacularsociety:

Bruce Nauman, Body Pressure 1974

     ‘Concentrate on the tension in the muscles, 
pain where bones meet, fleshy deformations that occur under pressure; consider 
body hair, perspiration’, (Body Pressure 1974).


    Pushing and manipulating the body is a humanly and exotic experience, using the body and flesh as a tool to interact with another material.

    The glass acts as material that ‘isn’t there’, clear and public. In Matthew Barney’s Cremaster 3, we see amputee Aimee Mullins adorn a pair of bizarre prosthetic legs formed from clear polyethylene, the clear glass like material acts as a subtle connection between Aimee Mullin’s and the ground. I love the idea of materials acting humanly or earthy, ‘A sculptor like Serra relies upon the epic solidity of the industrial materials like lead and steel, Barney’s sculptures, on the other hand, are at their best when they are in an unstable equilibrium, as though they might melt or crumble at any moment. Like human bodies in a way, Barney’s sculptures exist only under special, rarefied conditions’ (Baird D, 2003).


AC

(via bluehued)

http://morbidanatomy.blogspot.co.uk/

'No notice is taken of a little evil, but when it increases it strikes the eye.'

Aristotle 


I am naturally draw to the human body and it’s a huge part of why I wanted to study jewellery design, I have been drawing parts of human anatomy to gain information towards designing in my third year I have been drawing parts of the human anatomy and studying the works of Andreas Vesalius in particular. I am attracted to the antiquated feel to his work and also the quite explicit quality of it, the violated flesh and folds of skin pealed back to reveal the muscle, bone and organs.

I started by drawing from the eyes, mouth and teeth. When thinking about ‘the eye’ in particular the ideas of exhibitionism arise and the act of prying upon another for sexual gratification, a voyeur.

I also like the squeamish discomfort that coincides with the visuals of people touching there eyeballs or furthermore the use of surgical tools within the eye. There is something quite horrific about the incision or injecting of this particular organ.


AC

 Carnivalesque ‘earthy’ behavior 

 Looking in particular at night clubs or night life as the ‘market place’ we can easily see the excessive and unconventional behaviour being expressed.Freedom, equality, the mingling of races. In its symbolic thrust, at least, carnival translates a profoundly democratic and egalitarian impulse’ (Stam,1989: 130). Outlandish or surreal behaviour can be seen through the years in some of the most established nightclubs, Copacabana (figure5), Stork Club, Hell Fire Club NY (figure 6), Studio 54 (figure 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14) and the Mudd Club (figure15). Studio 54, founded and created by Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, was a thriving and acclaimed nightclub in New York City which opened its doors from 1977 till 1981. Covering Studio 54 was like covering the big bang. On April 26, 1977—a long time before superstar D.J.’s, before velvet ropes, before anyone had ever heard of “club drugs” like XTC, 2CB, and special K—Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager let there be light and speed and spectacle so preternaturally pleasurable that it had to fall apart. But while the ball lasted, there was no more thrilling nightlife than the dance on West 54th Street. I know, because I was there. Studio 54 was my beat as the “Intelligencer” columnist. Go forth and party with Halston, Bianca, Andy, and Liza, said my editor, and bring back the buzz’ (Nobile, 2007).

‘It quickly became the best known nightclub in America, riding the wave of 1970s dance music and newly found personal freedom. It made vast amounts of money for its two young owners. But after three years the party came crashing to a halt’ (Dowd, 2012). It was a ‘salad bowl’ mix of people, celebrities, the straight, gay, drag queens and was undoubtedly a visual confusion. ‘The VIPs were photographed and often. The list is long and included Calvin Klein, Truman Capote, Liza Minnelli, Robert Mapplethorpe, Elizabeth Taylor and Andy Warhol. Other regulars are perhaps more surprising: Benecke recalls the classical pianist Vladimir Horowitz turning up regularly with his wife Wanda. “He always wore ear-plugs. He hated the music but he loved watching the people.” Scheer recalls Andy Warhol saying the club was a dictatorship at the door but a democracy inside. “There was no A-List or B-List or C-List. We came after the pill arrived and before Aids had a name. Women were thriving in terms of their sexuality and it was also a great time to be gay. There was no stigma inside Studio 54” (Dowd, 2012). Bakhtin describes Rabelais’ images of Gargantua and Pantagruel, ‘no dogma, no authoritarianism, no narrow-minded seriousness’ the same atmosphere or spirit we can see taking place in Studio 54. Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager wanted Studio 54 to be a mass of mixed people, a place where judgement is banished and grotesque realism can prevail. All hierarchy’s, genders and race could blur within the chaotic foundations, ‘Carnival breaks down the social boundary or proscenium that separates performer from onlooker…There is ‘chaotic disarray’ that contradicts the ‘truth already established’ by official ideology’ (Bristol, 1989: 65).


AC

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