Integrative Seminar 2: Visual Culture
6 April, 2018
Nengudi, Senga. Internal I, 1977. Nylon Hosiery. New York City, The Whitney.
Whitney Museum Research Exercise: Textiles and Gender Roles
PART 1: CONNECTION
1a. Spaces and Predicaments – Gender – Gender Roles (women)
1b. Internal I (1977) by Senga Nengudi
PART 2: CONTENT
- Stockings that were torn in the middle, outstretched towards the ceiling and the floor
- The stocking stretched downwards branches into many individual pieces, vaginal imagery
- Dark brown stocking
- Piece towards ceiling is elongated with knotted nylon extension
- Several tears
- Initial impression- seemed insect-like due to its angular nature. That contrasts with its intention of reflecting the body
2b. Medium: Nylon Hosiery. In this case, the medium is the message. The medium, stockings, carry significance as a symbol of womanhood.
PART 3: CONTEXT
3a. There is only one material (stockings) so there is no interaction between multiple mediums. This piece relates to the others in the exhibit because it refers to both race and femininity, and those two subjects had multiple sections in the exhibit.
3b. The piece was originally made in 1977 but was re-fabricated in 2014, so these particular stockings were from the 2000s. However, stockings have been a cultural symbol since the 1940s.
PART 4: SIGNIFICANCE
Abt the issue it addresses/expresses (connects to my issue) . explanation of its relevance for understanding the artwork, how it connects to my issue
4a. What significance did stockings carry in the late 70s when this piece was created, and how has it changed over time? This is relevant because mediums carry different messages over time, and this piece might have meant something different at the time of its conception vs. what it means today. Because nylon is the only medium of the piece, it is critical to understand its significance. This connects to my research issue because it addresses gender and the societal roles it imposes.
What conceptual meaning does the material hold? The medium seems to reflect skin Therefore it is important to ask about what this is saying in terms of physicality. This relates to my issue because I deal with the physical body and the space it occupies in my work, as well as its intersection with gender identity.
What does this suggest about the gendered body and sexuality? This piece feels very violent when looking through the lens of sexuality. The shape it was torn in can reflect both vaginal and phallic imagery. This is relevant because genitalia and gender intersect in our society and gender binary.
4b. Library Exploration 2