kendal murray

Circulatory Pleasures

Beatty Gallery 19/11/1996

"Circulatory Pleasures" addressed the notion of the body as an inscriptive surface. A surface that not only displays the markings of the culture to which it belongs but the inscriptive markings on the psyche of the subject engaged in the rituals of beautification.

The exhibition consisted of elaborately framed collage elements reminiscent of beautiful specimens, a dressing table sculpture complete with a skirt embroidered with hair and a bodice made from muslin bandage, constructed and embellished with brass pins and wire. These pieces were designed to recreate the experience of reinventing the 'body self' through the rituals of beautification, and were given titles such as "Beautifully Entrapped" and "Sanction" and "Circulatory Pleasures" to suggest both the projection of the gaze and the acts of subjection created through the actions of beautification.

A selection of shoe sculptures completed this display. They were constructed using elements such as scissors, tweezers, lace, chain and bronze. These highly eroticised shoes visually baited the gaze of the audience whilst simultaneously exposing the inscriptive process of beautification, and were given the titles "Mystique", "High Heels and Tight Lacing", "Desire by Design" and "In the Interest of Sex Appeal".

The materials and construction processes used to create the individual pieces of artwork in the show were used to encourage the viewer to experience the paradoxical ideas and experiences associated with the process and pleasures of beautification.

Kendal Murray, 1996