Identity and Rebellion
Dangling traces the theme of suspension whether formal or psychological by placing the narrow prism of the self against a wide-angle lens that exposes the chain of associations, often subliminal and emotionally charged, of womanhood as female, body, emotion, soft, low, flesh, nature.
The very physicality of the first set of shapely legs – their sensuality and weight – is offset by the seemingly effortless, floating state in which the second set is presented although in both cases, eschewing a firm base, they are positioned in dialogue with the surrounding environment and, by extension, the viewer. Tethered but by no means static, they have the potential to revolve on their axes, providing a sense of movement and instability. The implied vulnerability - they look as if they have been assembled by a machine from off-the-peg, standardized parts - adds yet another layer to understanding the exposed and defenseless state of female representation especially when it comes to the often subtle and coded role of images in creating new knowledge.
These modern-day women are in stark contrast with Pierre-Auguste Renoir's young, porcelain-skinned group of joyful and carefree females inThe Large Bathers (Les Grandes Baigneuses). They lack the signature cheery and radiant atmosphere typical of the Impressionist aesthetic, yet, although lens-based, they borrow the choice of saturated colors and light-dappled strokes. Cézanne's Large Bathers, on the other hand, land a helping hand to the Dangling women via similar compositions that have simpler, geometricized forms veering more towards abstract art and Cubism using a color palette of light and dark blues, greens, golds and white.
- Visual Influences
Paul Cézanne's Bathers series - Paul Cézanne had spent his life studying the nude and exploring the relationships between people. At the end of his career, Cézanne created a series of bathers' paintings feeling no pressure to conform to painting trends.
Louise Bourgeois's Suspension (exhibition of hanging works) - The very physicality of Bourgeois’s work, its density and weight, is offset by the seemingly effortless, floating state in which they are presented. Eschewing the traditional sculptural base, Bourgeois positions her work in dialogue with the viewer and surrounding environment.