Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Snow and words.

The snow is very in lots of very wet snow and it is still accumulating. I drove into Lake Forest, went to the pharmacy and the bookstore and decided that more time out in slick driving was unwise. So I skipped exercise and came back to read, nap and write. I do have the beginnings of an artist statement about this project:
His Suit, Hirsute, Power suit
This installation examines gender in the contexts of power, class, cultural norms and expectations. Class, gender and power are all demonstrated, in part, through dress: the various uniforms we have agreed to wear. Examining the uniform of the pin-striped suit, it became apparent that it is a power object, a symbol and repository of visible power and/or oppression. Like the costumes of African masquerade, the suit when donned does more than infer power. The wearer of the masquerade, is inhabited by the power resident in the object. The performer in the suit of the lion spirit, becomes the lion spirit. The performer in the “power suit” becomes powerful. The performer becomes the performed. The suit can also be seen as a liminal gender object. The suit, a chosen male representation of power, when donned by a woman, becomes a transgendered object. On further examination, on looking carefully, the sexual/gender cues of the suit as object are revealed. The lapels are labial and the whole object, the whole costume of jacket, pants, tie et al, looks decidedly phallic. The power suit is built to quietly emphasize male power, by broadening the shoulders and exaggerating height by creating a long, uninterrupted line from head to toe; It is simple, unfussy, does not encumber the wearer who can “spring into action,” without disturbing the essentials of the suit. The whole ensemble also demonstrates the archetypal effigy form, sort of uber-human. When this uniform, this suit, is donned by the oppressed classes, the transgression is evident. Like the bearded lady, with hair in all the wrong places, the wearer of the suit is potentially “hirsute.”

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