Monday, February 23, 2009

Comparative Scale

For this project, I took two aspects from Lisa Steele’s “Birthday Suit with Scars and Defects” (the catalyst for this assignment): the idea of documenting something that happened to my body well after it happened, and shooting it in one long shot.

The video is a documentation of a Fluxus-inspired action as written on the card at the beginning of the piece. By documenting an action, I am expanding on Steele’s documentation process.

By choosing to weigh my breasts, I am giving a numerical value to my own breasts, which may seem absurd but they already have one as determined by my bra size and men seem to measure their penises with some regularity (or at least I’ve been convinced that this is the case). They are signifiers of womanhood and femininity. In extreme cases though, they are signs of masculinity and over sexualisation.

The title “Comparative Scale” makes it more clear that I am comparing each breast against the other, as well as highlighting the context in which it is presented – a public video website. The entirety of the project is up for the scrutiny of not only the class, or the person marking it but anyone who happens to find it.

The breasts themselves are objects of scrutiny for so many and so often. Delving further into this idea feels condescending and frankly a little painful.

The blurriness of the video speaks to the impossibility of the project itself. It is impossible to accurately weigh breasts without removing them. I still have mine so the results are skewed which is evidenced by being able to see my breathing in the meter of the scale. The removal of a person’s breasts is generally associated with a sex change, cancer or an aesthetic choice. Each of these carries a load of meaning that is referenced in the action but isn’t directly featured.

The finished quilt and image of the pattern

Here is the quilt in its done-ness.

Here is the pattern that I made with the notations so that after I cut it up, I could put the pieces back together again (TR, TL, BR, BL stand for Top Right, Top Left, Bottom Right, Bottom Left)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Quilt Sources

Quilt Art: International professional art quilt group
This group has a wide range of members over more than twenty years with both traditional and contemporary aesthetics.

Elizabeth Brimelow: Member of Quilt Art
The quilt at the top of her page was what I was looking at as I was sewing, trying not to be angry at the plastic for being so slippery.

Pamela Allen: Narrative Quilter
I quite enjoy her ability to tell stories within her work although I'm not sure I agree with all of her colour choices. I also really like her conscious use of 3D elements in her work beyond just fabric.

Joe Sladky's Quilt Frame and Video
This is the best explanation of how to build a quilt frame from a cute little old man! With a video!

How to Make a Crazy Quilt Fan Block

This is one of the two patterns I used to base the pattern I made off of. The other pattern was called "Circle of Life" or "Colour Wheel" from two different sources but when it came down to finding a picture of it, I was unable to. It's similar in structure but with thinner, longer blocks of colour.