23.2.10

D U M M Y L O V E
Busy day today. We've been in the studio making some sort of costuming for some experimental work we are doing at the end of the week. This involves making a mannequin costume for both Hannah and I to wear. But before we get into that, let me order my thoughts a little bit.
Hannah and I have been inspired by a short story in Chuck Palahniuk's novel 'Haunted' which explores the police procedures involved in inerviewing children who have been sexually abused. Now, I don't think this happens any more, but one such means to get an abused child to convey which part of their body had been violated was to point at a mannequin's vacuum formed body parts. Palahniuk's novel quickly subverts this notion, and the mannequins in question end up becoming sex dolls for the police. All very disturbing. However, we've been steadily more inspired by all things mannequins, sex, choreographed movements and the like. My dissertation was on the Bauhaus movement, focussing a lot on 'Bauhaus Dolls', and the Aryan imagery inherrent in a lot of Bauhaus style. Bauhaus dance can sometimes feel very mechanical, with dancer's moving in unison or in reaction to one another, like cogs in a machine. I'm particularly interested in creating a piece which explores this sort of synchronised movement, hence the Single Ladies routine we tried to copy last week. 
The sexualised female body was captured in mannequin form by pop artist Allen Jones in a series of 1960s sculptures: 
There is a relationship between the works of Allen Jones and the image of Shirley Eaton in Goldfinger which I can't quite establish yet, but its probably something along the lines of setting the female form in one state, with the aide of plastic/oil/paint/gold etc.
Above, Sheila Eaton smothered in gold paint during 'Goldfinger' (1963).
Above, Gemma Arteton, in an homage to the gold scene, is doused in oil for 'Quantum of Solace' (2008). We've been informed by the colours and textures of this image whilst making our mannequin outfit, below: 
Hannah and I feel we should probably do some body painting too, so, watch this space. Anyway, back to the mannequin costumes: lots of newspaper, clingfilm, water and flour was involved. We weren't allowed to saw in half the only full scale mannequin our costume department had, so this seemed the only way. Its like an operating theatre:
Or maybe even a massage parlour?

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