Friday, April 29, 2011

Body Reflections

My gesture reflects the most obvious picture I could imagine of an OBE that didn’t actually involve a second body or figure. When I first thought of what an out of body experience was, I instantly jumped to psychedelic drugs, but as my project evolved I began to think of my gesture as more of a representation of an OBE resulting from a near-death experience. Typically when this type of phenomenon occurs, people claim that they experienced looking at themselves from an outsider’s vantage point. The only way I could think to depict this idea was by creating a gesture that would show a body coming out of a body. The only conceivable way to accomplish this with the materials we had to work with was to manipulate the plastic wrap to convey a message of an out of body experience. . The plastic wrap coming out of the figure’s neck represents the “spirit” or “soul” of the body escaping from within it. 

The final product!

I have been trying to view both my phrase and my figure through my own personal perceptions of body image and art. I believe that this project forced me to see my body in a different way, through the act of creating a body mold.. When I first saw my mold I was somewhat shocked and disappointed, because its shape did not reflect how I see myself (as thinner around the mid-section, and definitely having more ass). I even found myself looking at other bodies and thinking “hers looks better than mine”. Facing this reality, (although my figure was somewhat of a distorted replica that was constantly collapsing due to cheap tape) challenged me to think about why I felt thinner than I really was, and why my image of myself was also somewhat distorted.

Lately I have been somewhat consumed with trying to get my “pre-baby body” back, which has meant strength training and cardio 5-7 days a week. Even though I am tired and have a million other things on my plate, I have always kept fitness and nutrition a top priority in my life; pushing my body to its physical capacity is a challenge I will continue to enjoy meeting because I want to live a long, healthy life- for myself, my husband and even more-so for my little girl. While this project has allowed me to explore what my real motivations are (like to not feel like the “fat domesticated wife-mother”), it has also reaffirmed why I feel it is so important to be fit.. not because my body mold isn’t the shape I think it should be, or what others think and tell me it should be, but because my body is all I have- I only get one and I need to take care of it. The gesture of my figure itself reflects me because it IS me- all of my flaws included.. hopefully I won’t be headless anytime soon though.

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