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!!!!)

Anonymous 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.