I feel like my piece means a lot in terms of concept and materials, and so this post is about what I think and feel about it, and what I hope it could communicate to others. I guess in a way, it will form as a draft for my wall statement.
I’ve had a few peer commentry on the piece being like a “hat”. Since the outcome is not made to aim at anyone commerically, I think it is more like a “head piece”. And I wanted it to be based around the head because we identify people a lot by their face and hair is something very tangible and it is an interesting feature associated with disgust, such as hair in mouths, or hair in food. That is why I designed mouths that could have the model’s hair sprouting out from it.
The fact that the bandana is large, means that half the face is covered, and because of the large strand of hair coming out of the forehead, the face almost becomes unidentifiable, and this bizarreness confuses the viewer. It is almost alien, and perhaps with this confusion, comes an uncomfortable feeling, and has viewers stay away from the piece even more.
The multiple fingers that emerge from the head provokes questions to me, like What if my body was this grotesque? Why do I feel like that when it is just my body? Why is it quite scary to think of my body as different than it is already? But maybe this is not scary to some people at all. And this links to the discussions of disgust, and our different interpretations of disgust.
The moving finger mechanism is what I think contributes a lot to the “grotesque” aesthetic. It is comical, but also terrifying, as the piece seems alive, literally. And despite not all the fingers working properly at once, I still think the effect is just as strong with one or two functioning. That is why the gooey slime in the video heightens more of the disgust, as stringy, wet substances can make us feel gross. For improvement, I wished I used more slime, and have it much thicker and stringy.
The textile element is much more than just woven latex and stitch on rubber. The fact that I have explored skin, making it even more real like our bodies, and how skin can be used as this “material” for a head piece is quite scary. Materials hold a lot of power over what we periceve things as, or people as, the way we live, and the environment we live in. In the beginning, I wanted to explore and show how clever materials can be, especially with advanced technology now (smart textiles for example). And with this piece, I think it shows that I could use our own body as this “material”, to manipulate it into a bizarre, grotesque form to defend one’s personal space.