My friend Jake (who is also in DESMA 9) and I outside of the Broad Art Center.
This past week I went to an event at the Broad Art Center called Staring in the Age of Destruction (S.A.D.). Walking around the event was really cool because it was a showcase of all the senior’s final art projects. I am a political science major so I would never have an assignment like the ones that these art students had and I enjoyed seeing all of the different projects. You could tell that each student put an incredible amount of time and labor into their project and that each work had a very personal meaning to its creator. The showcase really did a great job of fusing art and science together. Every work was very unique but had some technological twist to tie it all together.
Title slide for Danielle's piece.
Although all of the works were fantastic I was immediately drawn to a piece titled “I Just Want to Feel Like Myself Again” by Danielle Hollander. The work itself is a large projection of an image of a mask of a girl’s face with a wig of black hair. It actually had and entire wall so the girl’s face seemed to look over the entire exhibit. The projection was a loop of film of a face looking out hauntingly into an unknown space as her hair is being brushed. The face starts out completely normal and then distorts over time as acts of a daily beauty routine are carried out on it. The more the girl’s hair is brushed the more distorted her face gets and she looks as though she is suffocating. The large image of the distorted face overlooking the entire event was quite unsettling to me but I couldn’t look away. The inclusion of the video loop and the evolution of the girl’s face from normal to a suffocated plastic mask is a great example of how technology can be used to make art. I think that the video loop had a profound affect on how the piece was received by its audience. A single picture or painting wouldn’t have had the same emotional impact.
The piece as it first appears on the projection.
The piece at then end of the time loop appearing severely harmed after all of the beautification.
The preface to the art work.
The brief description of the work really stuck with me. The description title read “An exploration of rituals I perform in order to maintain body image. Over time, these rituals feel compulsive, suffocating, and monotonous. The more they are performed, the more detached I feel from myself and my image” (Danielle Hollander). This short preface from the artist is very relatable to me in my everyday life and to countless others. As I watched the face of the girl slowly become distorted over time as it went through its beauty routine I felt sad. Today’s society puts so much pressure on having the perfect appearance no matter the cost and often times the image we are seeking is unattainable. I felt that through this piece Danielle was trying to show us that seeking these unrealistic images will only lead to unfulfilled expectations and a lost sense of self. This work asks us to contemplate society’s values of beauty and to look to ourselves for what we think should be deemed beautiful.