I worked fairly steadily on The Dress for the past month or so achieving a great amount (it’s nearly one piece) and achieving the complete inability to look at the thing in the near future.
I still haven’t come up with a proper title for it, but The Dress is beginning to fit nicely both in terms of my rampant usage of the term (for lack of a better one) and its massive scale in terms of a project (The dress to end all dresses?).
The main idea behind the dress has to do with ambiguity. Is it a spider’s web that entraps you or is it like the net below a trapeze artist to catch you if you fall? It’s an idea I’ve been interested in since moving countries and not being able to bring my friends or my family with me which on one hand is incredibly disorientating and on the other lends a sense of freedom.
This idea is also explore beautifully in The Unbearable Lightness of Being where the relationship between Tomas and Tereza and Tomas’ lover Sabina wherein Tomas is an incurable womaniser, always wondering about the next woman but is married to Tereza. Tereza can think only of Tomas, but Sabina always remains unattached. It explores basically the pros and cons of each of the three people’s lives in a quasi-scientific, detached way. It’s title comes from the discussion of lightness or freedom of being unattached and not responsible for another person, while at the same time this lightness can be unbearable for not being attached to anyone. It’s oddly moving for its style and backdrop of the communist revolution.
There’s an innate ambiguity in security and being safe. A prison can be safe and secure as well as life. A relationship can exemplify this idea just as easily.
The method of production has centered on what one artist at Raven Row described as the ‘awkwardness of production.’ The very fact that it’s difficult, annoying, inefficient, yet enjoyable is the point of the means of production. It wouldn’t have the impact or be what I want it to be if I used a machine or even larger needles or any method to make my life a whole lot easier (sigh). Making this has been a mediation on its production both materialistically and intellectually.