wo[e]m[a]n

a life size sculpture of a woman- as a representation of coded systems of information – and how they are all intertwined and interconnected to create the internal and external construction of women.

This project explores how coded systems of information can affect people’s actions in public spaces as well as their relationships to their own personal identities.

Wo[e]m[a]n is a representation of these systems- and how they are all intertwined and interconnected to create the internal and external construction of women.

A woman has no one identity. Instead, she is made up of internal and external factors/pressures that are constructions of the self based on the interconnectivity of complex fragmentations that make up the multiple identities of a woman.If women are constructed by an unquestioned system, which is a reflection of the biases, norms and values that define the society within which we live, then we are ‘activated’ and owned by that society.

The world’s desire to frame, clarify, compartmentalize, divide and conquer the woman further pressures the woman to BE one fragment more than others, be it a mom, a working woman, an overweight woman, or a fashionista. Looking at these fragmentations, one realizes that they are all part of a much larger whole- that is made up of overlapping identities that provoke, and contradict each other.

These identities are infused under wo[e]m[a]n’s skin: she is made up of headlines, articles and images from mass media aimed at women –  telling us who we should be, dos and don’ts of style, sex, and workplace. She is stepping forward, reaching- out of who society ‘suggests’ we should be, into who she is-  who we all are-  stubbly legs, real, non-airbrushed bodies, and acceptance of our  physical reality.

Identity is therefore played out in public space both from external stereotypes and internal fears and desires. It is a social construction that deconstructs the self as a way of surviving, through appropriation, through use by those in the margins.

images are from Gaia Studio residency project
Wonder Women:
Explorations of the Subconscious Hero

installed at Jersey City Public Library, May 2006
photo credits: Sharon Moesch