Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Temple II

Here is a portion of a statement I am writing about the Temple dresses...

I and TEMPLE II are fibre works involving two modified dresses. Though appearing to be relatively normal from far away, both dresses actually have had all of their horizontally-running threads (save for very few) removed. Through the act of removing these threads, the dress is in fact only half a dress- destroyed and stripped of it’s function yet remaining completely intact.

These works were inspired by the book The Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima. The novel involves a young stuttering acolyte who becomes obsessed with the beauty of the Golden Temple where he is apprenticing to become a priest. Enraptured by the temple’s perfection and filled with self-loathing, the acolyte sets the temple on fire in a desperate attempt to free himself from the bonds of the structures magnificence, which serves as a monument to his own imperfection.

The TEMPLE dresses relate the themes of Mishima’s Temple of the Golden Pavilion- obsession and fetish, ritual and body image- to the contemporary female experience. The act of removing each horizontal thread by hand parallels repetitive (and often painful) beauty rituals such as plucking, waxing and hair-brushing. The intentional preservation of the vertical threads cheekily suggest the old adage about vertical stripes being slimming, while also evoking self-harm scars and long fair hair.

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