Monday, January 30, 2012

Laurie Freeman: sculptures

Laurie Freeman
For the first journal assignment, I’m choosing to write about the work of Laurie Freeman. I responded strongly to her sculpture pieces made of mannequins, PVC, resin, and enamel. In her pieces Char Siu, Ubiquitous Technic, and It's All About Your Accessories, you can see the influence of minimalism (pared down to essential forms of mannequins) and Duchamp (used of pre-existing objects: PVC piping components).
Char Siu resembles a limb (probably a leg) that has a PVC elbow where the viewer would expect a hip joint and the foot. It is coated in a shiny red hue that could represent lust or desire but also caution or warning. The title of the piece is the name for pork that is hung in window shops that is given a pinkish dye to make it more appealing to the consumer.
Ubiquitous Technic is two mannequins in close proximity to each other: one a female mannequin in a lime green and a male mannequin in “vibrato” pink. The female torso is replaced by a PVC junction as is the forearms of the male. The title is ambiguous in its meaning but makes me think of masturbation (the name of the colour used for the male mannequin reinforces this idea) or our obsession with flawless self-image to the point of narcissism.
It's All About Your Accessories is another piece along the same lines as the above, but it has the connotation that these “improvements” that we make to our bodies are purely cosmetic. There are multiple PVC pipes sticking out of a female mannequin replacing her right breast and neck. The title leads the viewer to think that these cyborg-like additions are wilful additions/replacements made by the individual for status or fashion.
Freeman states that sculpture is “always about the body” because it exists in real, 3-D space, as opposed to a painting that exists on the wall in 2-D. Her work is interesting in how it relates to the idea of post-human identity. The idea that we are able to “fix” parts of our bodies with synthetic limbs and plastic surgery in order to create a more desirable identity, relates to the juxtaposition of the PVC piping with the organic forms of the mannequins (which are also synthetic-looking). The piping relates also to our abject reaction to our bodily fluids which poignantly demonstrates how we (in the west) have an unhealthy obsession with sterilizing our environment and how we remove ourselves from our humours (out of sight, out of mind).
Here's the link to Laurie Freeman's facebook page.
Char Sui, Laurie Freeman

Ubiquitous Technic, Laurie Freeman

It's All About the Accessories, Laurie Freeman

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