No Romance on the Pedestal; a pair of pleaser heels standing at one metre tall are the physical embodiment of a digital asset pulled from a mobile game. Originally presented alongside the video Like a Star made entirely of mobile gameplay footage, The Metaphysics of Femininity moves this sculpture into a new context. A step further away from the exaggerated figuration of camp feminine forms, and a step deeper into what underpins the aesthetics of femininity.
As Laura Mulvey psychoanalysed Allen Jones via his furniture series, she connected his work to the castration complex. Fetish gear: heels, rubber gloves, cigarettes and whips serve as a surrogate phallus where there ordinarily is none. From Allen Jones’ work to now, we see this arc continuing toward infinite growth. The visual pleasure of the feminine ideal used to grab attention for mobile games, has passed into the monstrous. Heels now impossibly tall, are hyper-phallic and simultaneously hyper-feminine. So we see, femininity and its trappings do not exist for their own sake.
Plato’s Cave (2021) sees the return of a previous work, made up of a series of transparent buttplugs with a flickering LED candle embedded within. This work was originally a part of HIVE MIND (2018), an exhibition which explored solipsism and language. The nature of language is inherently binary, definition as a process separates what something is, from what it is not. Insertion is an inherently binary act, where one part must mirror the other in order to take it in. As language governs all understanding, perhaps we are compelled to find binaries where there are none. In biology, sex does not operate as a true binary, yet this delineation is an unignorable foundation of our current shared culture.
High Tower and This Empty Place are made in response to No Romance on the Pedestal. These works continue the thought: what becomes more phallic, becomes more feminine. This is the beginning of a series of new works which seek to reveal what underpins the aesthetics of femininity.