Saturday, February 27, 2010

Toile de Joy??

Scrolling through the NYT's slideshow on dressing up, Club Kid style, my finger froze when I came upon this image which I found both intriguing and disturbing.

Not the sailors in JPG; rather, the figure in head-to-toe toile. (BTW, the person under the toile is performance artist Yozmit, who also created the dress.)

I love how artists play with toile, from the wallpaper of Timorous Beasties, to the pieces that Richard Saja "interferes" with via embroidery floss. 

But here is my dilemma:

On the one hand, the look suggests Marie Antoinette on a sugar high, having wrapped herself up in the drapes of Versailles. 

On the other hand, the points in the white-and-red cloth, most prevalent on the shoulders but also on the top of the mask, recall a full-body robe that was worn in the American South during the late 1800s, for decidedly undecorative purposes.

But perhaps that's the element of provocation in this piece. 

I could go into an application of Toni Morrison's concept of "rememory" here (coined in Beloved), but that would be too academic for a Saturday night, during the final minutes of the men's gold-medal curling match, I think. . .  (Oh hurrah!!--we just won the gold.)

What do you see in this dress?

**Here's the look that WendyB references in her comment:

12 comments:

K.Line said...

Fascinating. That's not what I saw, though as soon as you mentioned it, it was all I could see. I saw a burka (equally disturbing from my perspective).

WendyB said...

Oh, I didn't see that at all. I saw Lady Gaga at the VMAs.

Barbara said...

Be academic. Would love to hear it.

materfamilias said...

That is disturbing, now you've pointed it out. (I just finished Morrison's A Mercy.)
Love that "we" (can take the girl out of the country, but . . . ) We've got 13 golds now and intend to have 14 by the time tonight's game is done -- that one's going to be tough for you, cheering-wise, no?

Miss Cavendish said...

Mater, I actually have theatre tickets for 2:00, which is a good thing because I suspect that the hockey game will be too intense for this fan. And fortunately Mr C is like Switzerland in our house. But 13 gold medals so far! (Hurrah!!!!)

K said...

They remind me of enemies in the video game Silent Hill. The nurse monsters, in particular.

s. said...

Drove home from a late afternoon party, along a stretch of Yonge Street. Flags waving, folks shouting, horns honking... it was a gray and slushy day but the city seemed brighter than ever. YAY.

And the images of women muffled in fabric: yes, burka came to my mind, too, and sent a chill down my freckled spine.

Sister Wolf said...

Actually, I couldn't take my eyes off the sailors. But I too would like to hear the academic stuff!

Make Do Style said...

Yes to the academic stuff - as although I found the look fascinating (in a scary way)I did wonder about what issues of performativity are being played out here and I'm uninformed on the artist.

Angie Muresan said...

Wow! I can see it, and it's freaky.

La Belette Rouge said...

Never too academic. Don't let the offhanded comments of a Vogue employee stop you from sharing your brilliance with us. Inquiring minds want to know.

enc said...

Like you, I see "intriguing" and "disturbing." I'm not sure I need to know why, either. I love your historical references.