Archives for the month of: March, 2012

My reading was Martha Rosler with the added influence of Pipilotti Rist, a mixture of in-your-face feminism. My subject explored the idea of beauty and its association with the legs. Why do legs have to be shaved to be counted as beautiful for women? The stigma of unshaven legs of a women means she is dirty, unkempt, not lady-like. Media seems to have a hand in this shaven leg ideal with the sexually charged razor commercials with handsome men touching freshly shaven legs of equally attractive women. Having shaven legs equals acceptance under a patriarchal society. In my video I wanted to put the hair of my legs in both the female and male audience faces. This is a comment on the rightness of nature and the hypocrisy of society. the heavy breathing during the shaving scenes refer to Rist’s psychotic and visually uncomfortable video I’m Not The Girl Who Misses Much (1986). Shaving sets women and men apart. The hairless legs of women are supposed to represent a media painted picture of the ideal women, hairy legs of the men represent his raw power. Hair is intimidating and possibility of of men freely and comfortably showing off their hairy legs is a public announcement of their confidence and feminist opposition to the male equivalent of hairy legs. Shaving the hair from the legs is the disarming of women. 


In my experience doing this project and growing my hair for a few weeks, I became rather conscious of the fibers attached to my skin, growing outwards. When I finally had to shave it I thought it would be a relief, since the weather was getting hot, but I felt uneasy removing all the hair I have grown specifically as a means to make a comment about women’s opposition to the societal norm. I was going against my message, following the norm and shave to be allowed to wear more revealing clothing in public. I felt naked to the outside despite being accepted with shaven legs.




The journey of Marina and Ulay along the Great Wall of China was more than a walk because the intention of the artists, the experience they both had and the revelation of the artist of him and herself through how both handled the walk.

The concepts that became poignant in the paper dealt highly with the male and female roles in and outside China, the relationship between Marina and Ulay and how it affected the walk and finally how each artist approached this aesthetic journey. The male and female dichotomy is stressed by Ulay and Marina intentionally starting on the opposite points of the wall. One side was said to be female, this was where Ulay started. The other side of the wall, male, was journeyed by Marina.gender, the break up between Ulay and Marina. The China separated the genders but the two artists actively brought the two genders together by the male being with the female and vice versa all throughout the walk symbolically then pyscially when Marina and Ulay met at the middle.

The relationship between Ulay and Marina was also important in the planning stages and the final act of putting the project into realization. Before the break up, traveling along the great wall and meeting at the middle meant to have a theatrical theme of  romance where two lovers once separated but become reunited. After Ulay and Marina’s separation the mindset and goal of the project changed. The theme of two lovers was more romanticized than romantic. For Marina the journey became more of a meditation, to travel within the self and gain confidence to come out of this project alone and prepare herself to work in the art field alone, what she had not done for a long time being with Ulay. Marina had already set her mind on the path of individuality.

Throughout the trip, this surrender to the separation shows through how she did not fight agains detours and was chaotic in planning (she carried no map). On the other hand, the trip revealed Ulay to be more connected to Marina. He would always refer to to the project in the plural, “We” or “Our,” he still thought of Marina and himself as a close team. throughout the trip his stubborn mindset revealed itself on how he was immovable on the path he planned ahead on maps, often reacting aggressively towards the Chinese authorities when told to take a detour. There was especially the time when Ulay broke the flag that meant surrender; a symbol of Ulay not wanting to let go of control or lose Marina to the separation. On the other hand, he trip revealed marina’s readiness to drift away.