When considering relationships between the body and architecture, it must be understood that structures are not empty. Various devices exist between the two, including clothing, objects and infrastructural elements. These mediating devices have the potential to harmoniously bridge the individuality of a person, or a social body, to a given space. Through the agency of orientation, one may better shape the space they occupy according to needs and desires, instead of conforming to hegemonic intentions of a modern design.
The Manicured Haus is an ongoing series of narrative collages that reprograms mediating devices of the home. I chose materials that provoke feelings of intimacy, familiarity and closeness to represent household devices. For example, in Toast & Q-tips for Two, pink carpet is dislocated to imitate the surface of a toaster, deviating how one approaches the intended functions of both carpet and a toaster. Such aesthetic and tactile layers are entry points to these three-dimensional collages, forming narratives at the intersections of intimacies from the home.
More specifically, this series explores gender and sexuality within consumer utopias, or the spectacles (often found in advertisements, packaging, shops, etc.) constructed to sell devices. In response to consumer utopias of the home and their processes of gendering and desire, these collages complicate spectacles of both the intended and represented functions. Furthermore, each composition focuses on doubles, parallels and reflections to metaphorically explore same-sex desire within domestic space. This method prioritizes visual support and connectivity to create unique spatial tension for each collage. Refrigerated Mud Bath depicts a painted refrigerator turned on its back and filled with chocolate, numerous cucumbers, a knife for cutting the cucumbers, hanging towels and a shower curtain rug. The spectacles of these devices merge to form a new language seducing diverse possibilities of a relaxation tank.
These works appear rough and impractical, as they are imaginaries for a process of reprogramming domestic goods post-consumer utopia. The works do not intervene in homes, but undermine ways in which one may take hold of intimacy in a given space, since it so distinctively informs corporeality and sexual orientation. As plans, these materials question how and why manufacturers and consumers process them. How may we continue to advance such reprogramming of the authoritarian impositions of modern designs? Furthermore, how may agency be employed to deviate ways that architectural space standardizes gender and sexuality?
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Is it strange to be jealous of Joe Joe Orangias‘ work? I find it both clever and deep in a time where much contemporary sculpture treats similar materials with an attitude of cold distance. Others must share my feelings, as Joe Joe has racked up some miles traveling to residencies in Hamburg, Germany and Galveston, Texas. Be on the look out for big things ahead.