Sunday, 8 September 2013

A Intertwined Moment

Cooking, knitting, painting and other handicrafts depend on the dexterity displayed by a person. In doing so our hands and mind blend together to create something we desire. There is a big trend in society for the HOME MADE; where people revalue craftsmanship. Not only in traditional ways but also in the hyper industry of droids, lasers and 3d-printers. The latter one adapting the beauty of the handmade reinforced by a machine. We can now print and select our preferences to multiple objects. Whether we add a name to a postcard and print it out, or we use a template to design our favorite shoes or decide what applications we want on our smartphone. We can alter the objects in our environment  in a complete new way. To work with materials, to feel their structure; to have hands that express with precise fingers, all those hours of devotion. It's all focused energy in a process of creation.

Just like craftsmanship; a dimension of capacity, skill and touch, the world of Fetishism is a parallel universe. The important relationship between ourselves and the objects around us are visible everywhere. We connect so much to the material world that our place of refuge (our home), our way of transportation (car, train, bike), our way of clothing (new, second hand, haute couture), even the way how we communicate (email, text message, letters); everything is drenched in the way we relate to them. 'These shoes hurt so much but I must wear them" is a perfect example. How tied are we to these objects? How do we suffer under their fabric? Why do we need one thing and find another not interesting at all? The feelings they provide have become sensations. It seems like a new kind of voodoo, shamanism or occult is among us. And it's not just our surroundings we put on display; even our skin is a subject of expression. Tattoo art is everywhere and we elaborate our bodies with piercings and studs like never before. While we make a choice in what suits us best, they are busy deepening our relationship to a personal level. The object has become a fetish. We identify so much with a brand that we think it's part of who we are! Its tactility to provide a state of comfort or a state of exhilaration. Feathers, leather, spikes, fur and nails are added to clothes and design to arouse the senses. In contrast our connection with electrical devices have evolved to the invention of the touchscreen and inventions such as voice control. On this level it seems that even though the element of touch seems new to these devices, the freedom of touch is very limited. We hardly use more then one finger!

The Pony Performance combines the addressed subjects with refreshing elements from a landscape. Giving the viewer at first, a feast of colors, shapes and symbols to assimilate. From within the white and round stage we hear distant but menacing music. Once a My Little Pony item is selected, it's picked out of its toy herd to be examined, stroked, touched and sometimes even kissed. This takes place under the highest state of precision and care. Making it a very intimate sensation. Viewers fall silent as their behavior all of a sudden, stands out in relation to whats going on on stage and to one another. The horses are light and breezy, but being with so many (236 unique items at this stage) raises questions about their toy purpose and transmits a inward sensation. Making the viewer a voyeur. As if they are observing something that is hidden, from another time and space. For do we allow a grown up, bearded man to play with teenage girl toys? And is he engaged in role-playing as children do to examine their relationship with their surroundings or is he doing something completely different? Are they even toys?
The 90 minute duration of the Pony Performance might look like a endurance test for both the viewer and performer. But something rewarding and absurd is waiting at the end of the experience.

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