Wednesday, July 22, 2009

opening reception: Entrance Denied

This past Saturday was the opening reception of Entrance Denied: the Art of the Chastity Belt at Mineral in Tacoma. Three of my fellow University of Washington metalsmithing classmates were showing together and I was definitely excited to see their work!

Entrance Denied: the Art of the Chastity Belt explores the underpinnings of desire through an iconic form - the chastity belt - recast by more than 20 artists.

The following work is a piece by Amy McBride, who is the City of Tacoma’s Arts Administrator and the Metal-URGE Event Organizer. She created Metal-URGE as her first large-scale project for the cultural tourism program, nearly a decade ago.

It was a truly beautiful and hot summer day here in the Pacific Northwest as you can tell from this next picture.

Fanning herself is Naomi Landig, one of my fellow classmates from the University of Washington. She had collaborated with Dorothy Cheng (another classmate) to make Playscale.

Here is a description written by Dorothy Cheng and Naomi Landig of their work:

"The idea of the chastity belt has its origins more in the cultural imagination of Western society than it does in actual practice as a tool for oppression and control. We have sought to explore this myth by placing it in the context of Barbie, another sexualized myth. Here, the chastity belt becomes merely another accessory of the prolifically outfitted Barbie, highlighting the absurdity of sexless but sexualized toy wearing a garment that was originally imagined to prevent the act of sex, but which now is sometimes used in contemporary practice to enhance the experience of it."

The following close-up is of Naomi Landig's pieces: Mod Rivet (upper left), Original Rivet Barbie (on body), and 'Sixties (upper right)

Next image includes pieces by Dorothy Cheng: Confectionery Princess Barbie (lower left), Gothic Spiderweb Barbie (lower right)

This last image is of a piece by my friend, Frederick Park. He had previously told me in earlier conversations the scale of the piece, but I was definitely taken back by the size in person. It was really interesting to see him take on such a large scale, since many of his pieces are composed of mainly just a few (1-3) tagua nuts. While here he included 23 of them! He had dyed the tagua nuts with cherries.

Perfect weather + art= a great summer day!

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