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Some older work, photographs documenting the wearing of a costume I made. This work formed part of a project that explored the way that individuals can attach their own meanings to others based upon a garment they are wearing.

 

Rough clip, just thought I’d show an example of the installation being explored by a viewer.

“Man the tailor made god”

(Langner, 1991)

What do people think sets them apart? How do we construct this image of ourselves and what aspirations is it based on? My current work focuses on the relationship between clothes and the dressing and undressing figure. These themes are explored as a way of building an identity, as we dress ourselves we build ourselves into something new at the same time. These are moments of transition, which represent moments of shifting layers. The kind of viewing that happens during this process, the sense of voyeurism that arises when we see someone in a fleeting state of undress, continues to draw my attention. As something that is usually private and almost sacred, this pull between being concealed and being viewed has gathered around it a sense of ritual, during which we form ourselves a second skin, an outward identity.

‘The creation of internal reality by the mind is confirmed by the consideration of altered states of consciousness. It is for these reasons that masks help one to confront the questions of identity and personhood.’

(Kak, 2004)

The ‘mask’ creates a kind of representation through absence. I have used the idea of clothing to the same effect; we pretend to be another and through this casting off of ourselves we confirm and realise that we are ourselves. By attempting to conceal ourselves we actually achieve the opposite and a revelation takes place. Devices such as this help us to process the idea of identity, and the way we compare our internal world to the external one. I have attempted to create an environment in which the viewer is able to manipulate what they see before them, altering the pattern of the work and playing with a perceived set of identities that are created by the device of the clothes. The device presented here alludes to theatrical methods used in performance, and using objects to stand in for that which is absent. In the case of this installation the dressing figure is suggested by its absence.

In the video piece Tailor Made I have used the visual motif of ‘tabs’ in a playful way relating them to those found on paper dolls clothes. The tabs on which attach the items of clothing to the paper figure, much in the same way we attach clothes to ourselves to create certain images.

“Man’s earthy interests are all hooked and buttoned together and held up by clothes.”

(Langner, 1991)