Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cultural Cringe/The Confidante

Cultural Cringe. 2013.

Just to fill you in on the latest two works that I have been working on this week. Cultural Cringe is an image you may recognise and may believe you have seen before. It is a subject that I have tackled before over the few years. The images uses the same figures as before - The Hulk, The Thing and myself. The first time I created this image (in 2010) I just had the three figures, the two 'creatures' looming over me, threateningly. I was introducing the premise of some of the 'bullying' that I suffered in the past. It was a strong image (that even appeared on the front of Trouble magazine Nov/Dec 2010). Over time I grew dissatisfied with it. I wanted to reinforce the bullying aspect but also introduce the reasoning behind the 'Cultural Cringe'. In 2011 I revisioned the image, this time in the landscape format. My figure held a armful of action figures and positioned between the two beasts. Again not  happy. I soon felt that the landscape format didn't suit the image and the armful of action figures looked clumsy. At the end of last year I attempted the image again, this time back in the vertical/portrait orientation. This image had only one 'wrestler' figure. While better than the 2011 image, I still wasn't quite happy with it. So I though I would get this image out of my system and have one last crack at it. I repositioned the two beast in a more threatening position and instead of holding a action figure, I am holding a 'Barbie' doll. For me this is more what I was after compositionally and also with the figure of me holding the doll speaks more about the difference culturally that I experienced being who I am and those in the past who did not understand (or did not want to) who I was as a human being compared to them.

The Confidante relates more to friendship, to absolute trust in a person. For me, it was easier to open up to a 'lay figure', my action figures. These true friends were easier to play with than with other children - easier to socialise with. No chance of being judged, to ridiculed and picked on. A chance to play safe from the complicated outside world of (social) rules and regulations. A time to be myself and not conform to the complex world where the expectation is always normality without 'acting' to get along with others. 

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