Below is the far more refined and improved final version of my Body Extension Project for Intro Studio, and the text for the Final version of my Intro Seminar Curatorial Statement that will accompany my partner’s own Body Extension– the Umbilical “Leash”. Though the Photoshop “retouching” of the photo I took of my Body Extension looks a bit sketchy and unprofessional, this is compensated for by the ideas and concepts behind the Extension as well as through my Intro Seminar, which was commented as being “very strong” by my Intro Seminar professor. I am grateful for the feedback I received towards my previous draft of the Curatorial Statement and took the steps necessary to adjust and increase the focus of my statement to reflect my partner and her work better. Without further ado, the aforementioned are posted below:
FINAL CURATORIAL STATEMENT (for Umbilical Leash– partner’s work)
First Year Integrative Seminar
October 4, 2016
“Umbilical Leash– Final Curatorial Statement”
Kyra Foley makes art through various mediums– whether it is sculpting, drawing, or painting. Being an American Christian artist hailing from Connecticut, she believes that her art has the power to capture beauty and convey happiness and optimism to her viewers, so that they are filled with motivation and happiness. Her newest exhibit,“Umbilical Leash”, will allow viewers, through demonstrations of the piece, to experience how it is like to be impeded or inhibited in one’s daily tasks due to a “child leash” or “dog leash”– how it is like to be pulled around by someone or something else and be forced to bend downwards towards a pet or child– a literal extension of yourself.
Foley’s art emphasizes beauty, nature, and the connections people have to one another, and addresses, too, the many pitfalls of society– these including injustices done against children and today’s youth. In the case of her “Umbilical Leash” exhibit, the artist addresses how children, being literal extensions of yourself or parents/caretakers, are unjustly treated as pets through the use of a leashing mechanism in a display of extreme overprotection in the part of overbearing, paranoid parents. Foley’s “leash” also addresses within a broader context the paradoxical relationship between one’s attachment and frustration with something or someone. You can be both attached and annoyed by your child and its constant dependency on you as the parent. The “Umbilical Leash” exhibition also relates to society because of the paranoid nature of our world today. Foley’s work also directly opposes and protests the phenomenon of parents hovering and overprotecting their own children, leaving them unprepared for the real world as a product of the paranoia of parents with the dangers of the world around us.
The “Umbilical Leash” exhibit consists of a type of Bungee cord and halter mechanism that goes around a subject’s stomach wrapped in fabric, the same fabric also wrapping around a second person’s waist. On the second person’s waist, the fabric has a belly and belly button painted on it to represent a stomach. The halter mechanism will be wrapped around the subject’s stomach in a purposefully disorganized fashion. Color and texture wise, the fabric of the leash is a faded pink and tan, representing an organic umbilical cord, and it should feel smooth on some sides, such as on the halter, and rough on others, such as on the fabric. We, as spectators to Foley’s exhibition should anticipate feelings of discomfort and be otherwise perturbed seeing the demonstrations of a “child leash” on the exhibit, given its negative connotations, and the idea of aggressively handling a child– a fragile extension of ourselves, by treating it like a pet. Ultimately, viewers should be provoked by the nature of the leash through its symbolic representation of the delicate tethering between mother and kin (and when it is appropriate to let the tether break), and perceive the “Umbilical Leash” as a form of protest against the overprotection of mothers rather than an enforcement of the old ideas of traditionally overbearing parents.
Foley as an artist aims to reinvent old paradigms and traditions to transform her surrounding community and world into a better place to live, bending and breaking the status quo in the process. This is exemplified by her strong leanings towards abstract and impressionistic works of art, such as those by Monet and Degas. Foley is motivated to impact the world through her art in a positive way, and seeks to influence as many people as possible with her messages of joy, freedom, love, and community, against of course, corruption and greed.