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Transitional Bodies – 2006

Ivan Dougherty Gallery, UNSW
15 to 18 February, 2006

Transitional Bodies – 2006

The digital/object installation entitled Transitional Bodies developed from experiences of living in Tokyo and an interest in human bodies as a site for the expression of social and cultural change. Transitional Bodies consists of four naked life-size female figures sitting with closed eyes as if traversing Tokyo’s Yamamoto inner city subway. These transitional figures are metaphorically, in between train stops, but also in between sleeping and waking, fixity and action. They embody references to homogeneity but also affirm the distinctness of the individual bodies from which they are cast from life.

Transitional Bodies suggests an ambiguous and discordant visual play between commodified and resistant female bodies. Four female figures are neither consumed by an overwhelming visual media culture, nor completely immune to its powerful forces. Although their white bodies are receptive to projected digital images that are reminiscent of billboards viewed through the train window, they are also resistant to the bombardment of imagery by choosing to visually disconnect from their environment. They do so by closing their eyes. The nakedness of their bodies is another form of resistance. The four figures are not wrapped in fashion items but instead, reveal the distinctness of unwrapped bodies. They express difference in size and shape, the irregularity of rolls, wrinkles, veins and the imperfect texture of cast skin.

Digital projections flood the space of the installation with faces and text referencing Tokyo’s advertising imagery. Disrupting the continuous flow of advertising imagery are portraits of individual women who are involved in Tokyo’s subcultural world, and well informed regarding the significance of body presentation as a means of visibly disturbing the dominant ideologies reinforced by consumerism.

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