Concept, Design, Art Direction
Niels van Katwijk
These suits were designed for a performance in public space, where the transformation of the body was the most important change throughout the performance. With these changeable suits I search for acceptance towards alternative body forms. It criticizes the monotonous beauty ideal, seen as perfect and strived by many by artificially reshaping their own bodies. This ideal can be seen in modern visual culture. The male gaze plays a big role in the way we look at a body in an objectifying manner.
This exploration is performed by a male and female body, symbolizing the male and female gaze. Stereotypical feminine and masculine body shapes are transformed into a whole other observation of the human body. By combining different body parts, a completely new shape of body is created.
The body bags ask the viewer questions such as: do we own our bodies? Is my body socially accepted? The words on the bags combined form labels as: ideal transformation, male gaze or female object, to give the composed body a rule, title or judgement for the body.
The suits encourage viewers to rethink the rules, judgements and the meaning of their own bodies.
These suits have been worn in public space and have been displayed on an exhibition.