Press the Flesh. 2011-2012. Canvas fabric, nylon, cotton fabric, wax, string, yarn, wood.
Within each person, there is a tension between the internal and external self. Freud believed that the inner identity is different from the one that we present to the outer world. The outer self has been influenced and constricted by society to the point that it can become unidentifiable compared to how the person really sees him or herself. I aim to explore this idea in my installation. Through abstracting the figure, the sculptural forms mimic the alteration of self that people undergo to fit into society.
This installation is composed of large soft sculptures and multiple small wax forms. The large, soft figures are only vaguely reminiscent of the human body. They are highly manipulated and bound, yet each has a small section of transparency where the viewer can peer inside. The organ-shaped and fleshy toned small bits of wax represent the most intimate parts of the human body- the true internal nature of the forms. However, they are displayed in a scientific way in which people are encouraged to look at, judge, and compare them. This show explores the relationship between the stunning and the repulsive; the inner self and the outer one.
Almost everyone faces expectations to fit into specific roles. Often, people adjust themselves to conform to the pressures that society places on them. However, sometimes the true nature of a person proves to be equally as compelling. When the body is stretched too far and distorted too much, aspects of the truth become visible. At these moments of weakness, our most personal characteristics escape us. This is when society becomes interested in those truths, studying every aspect with fervor. The undesired truth becomes equally, if not more, interesting than the ideal and false outer self.