HANNAH WILKE

Tags: http://www.theartstory.org/artist-wilke-hannah-artworks.htm#pnt_3

This picture shows a series of glamorous photographs where the artist has put chewing gum on her body, accompanied with real chewing gum. I think having the real sculptures there helps put into context photos better because it is not necessarily clear to the viewer what the material is. She is posing topless and is playing with the idea of the nude and the gaze. The second bottom left reminds me a lot of a kind of perfume advert in a way which is interesting because I'm sure this is the message she intended to convey, but is still relevant 40 years on from being made. The title, "Starification" is a neologism that refers to a concept of creating a "star" or celebrity. (1)

This artist relates to my work because she to used chewing gum. I enjoyed using it because it is a malleable material and when mixed with flower creates a nice matt effect. Unlike the artist I am not intent on making the media clear, intact I enjoy the ambiguity it brings to my pieces. When people say "oh thats pretty" I find it amusing they don't really know "yeah it's been in my mouth and is covered in bacteria". I was interested to see why the artist chose to use the media and found her reasons were less to do with its properties and more to do with how people use it. "I chose gum because it's the perfect metaphor for the American woman - chew her up, get what you want out of her, throw her out and pop in a new piece." (1) This made me wonder how my piece my be perceived differently if I used other peoples gum, or even develop different meaning if I used left over gum. Don't they use scraping gum off the bottom of a table as a punishment sometimes? This made me think about researching the different punishments. That might be fun to collect..

(1) http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/wilke-marxism-and-art-beware-of-fascist-feminism-p79357/text-summary

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