Reading the news about the villiany in the Middle East (and not just there-as it happens everywhere on different levels), I began to think about what I actually owned and how devastated I would be were it taken away. All that came to mind was myself. I thought, “I own myself, don’t I?” When I questioned the very idea of owning myself more came to surface about the power that businesses coupled with privatized health care have done to keep us behaving within a controlled system. The realization was frightening. In war, when everything else has been seized you fight with your body because it’s all you have left to fight with. But even our own bodies can be manipulated by outside forces looking to take advantage. I think that I own myself, but I do not claim to own a lot of the ideas I have about myself. Those unfortunately have been mandated ideas by outside sources ie: media, family, school and peers. Our socialized constructs.
I wanted to design a piece that focused on this idea of myself as property combined with the notion of gifts that come with their strings attached. I divided the surface of my body into separate landmasses (to which I will refer to as ‘sites’) and proceeded to gift each one to a friend. I chose to gift the sites to friends to mimic how governments and private corporations give special attention to those they keep in their closest confidence. Each friend received a packet not so unlike what you would get if you were to receive a gift of a star or a tree that has been named after you. A glossy 8x10 photograph, a wallet size photo, a certificate and letter stating the intent of the gift and a personalized pin to wear. This space, once mine and now theirs, will be left up to their care and ideas of how to name and describe it.
It's so easy to move around anymore for jobs and school and we can end up living pretty far from very dear friends. I am hoping to diminish that gap in this project if only temporarily. This idea is an interesting way to think about space and place and how spread out I sometimes feel trying to remain in good contact with friends. I have always seen spacial and personal differences, in its variety of forms, as nature's struggle to articulate balance.It has been interesting to notice these past few days how much more careful I have been with myself emphasizing the fact that parts of me belong to others. My responsibility feels greater. I wonder how they will feel? Do we become obsolete with the distance or greater in strength? I wonder if I actually owned something substantial (not meant to be size here) elsewhere what I would need to do to feel that I owned that something. Or is it just enough to know it?
It was necessary to come up with a structure in which to communicate with each other and time parameters to work within since my friends are not all living locally.The internet is able to break the global borders as swiftly as a monetary means, but still today people are unable to cross these borders as easily. I wanted to use the Internet as an alternative space for exhibition but also as tool and material. It’s a wonderful source to share information. I have asked that each person set up a MySpace account for their given site and communicate with me via my online blog. For archiving communication purposes I felt this was the easiest and the most wide spread in accessibility for those participating and viewers in or out of the gallery space. I wanted to alleviate any hierarchical space naturally kin to art or proximity and my solution for this was the Internet.