Office Lust: Desire in the Supply Room
So I let the shoes lead me to the final result. You said the high heel has a lot of symbolism and power, what do you think those are? The high heel for some women becomes a power shoe. Those are some of the more positive symbolisms of the high-heeled shoe, but it also has the opposite suggestions as well. And the designers sometimes do things to the shoes to suggest power or domination. If the shoe is pointing that way, I go that way. Yeah, I really move them around until they fit perfectly on their own.
So if two fit together and suggest something, I go with that. Another thing that attracted me to shoes, was in high school my major was fashion design, so that helped me to appreciate the beauty of the shoes as well. The good thing is that women will buy shoes and wear them twice with an outfit, and then not wear them a lot. So when I went to buy shoes, I looked for the ones that had been worn the least.
I live in New Jersey, and my local thrift store gets new shoes from one of the chain stores that gives them to the thrift store—so I was able to buy a lot of new shoes as well for a really low price. But they are the foundation. And they have memory.
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So all those things are feeding my choices. I make a lot of pieces out of steam irons, and Man Ray did the famous piece with the flatiron. All images courtesy the gallery. Lead image: 'Ashley Bikerton'. Other body parts emerge as well: ears are attached to slinking strings that resemble hanging moss.
There is a peaceful afterglow of a potentially violent division of the body, which could also be a slow, marvelous decay—like the words that have been mistranslated into something potentially lovely, so the body is transformed through a chaotic time lapse. Not only has the artist altered the lighting of the gallery the window is tainted orange, the fish-like sculptures lit in blue , included analogue writing samples alongside a screen that plays incredibly evocative poetic commands, but has extended her hand into an activated performance. Language is the focus—the structure of questions repeated, atonal songs chanted, and the bodies of the female performers bumping into the walls like stuck Sims characters evoke the strange cross between joy and confusion that bounce and play off the artworks and the small space.
Words are like trash: they have incredible power when used the wrong way for the right reasons. We spent a month living in Miami, both taking a break from our studio practice, we went to the beach every day. It was the first time for either of us to take so much time out of the studio and just relax.
We read, went to the gym, and literally just chilled at the beach the entire month. It was natural to notice the luxury of this leisure time and also the positive effects. I was looking around to see who else was there, who has access to leisure, what is the history of leisure, what is the language of leisure, and what are the effects of leisure. I think in times of crisis, love is needed most. I wanted to create images of love, of the natural and normality of different people being together, being intimate and vulnerable, and being in love.
I wanted to create works that are sensual and primal, a reminder of how our fundamental human desires connect us. Did you envision this series before you created it, or did you discover it along the way? It was a combination. This technique was also totally new for me, so I was also learning my language with the medium in the process of making the works. And I knew the imagery I wanted in general, but there was and continues to be so much discovery along the way. When the artist is discovering something within the process of making the work, the work is the evidence of that discovery, it carries the spirit of that discovery and I think that energy evokes a specific kind of response because of it.
The process is really sculptural for me. I love being physical with my work, this material really allowed me to enter the two-dimensional plane in a three-dimensional way. I first lay out the ground cloth cashmere and then use long strands of the roving unspun, raw wool to draw out the figures. Why did you choose to use needle and felt as your medium? How do you feel the material you chose affects the viewers relationship with the piece?
I think one of the most beautiful and important qualities of this work is the material and the process. That fact that it is all hair. That it is all natural and simply created by hair locking to other hairs the needle-punching literally binds the wool and the support together. I think this material evokes a sensuality, the tactile surface asks to be touched, and though that impetus is denied in a traditional gallery setting, that desire still brings the viewer into their body.
The two figures lying together are intimate, vulnerable, exposed. They are close in relation to one another in comfort, and yet there is a humor, a complexity, there is a sense that they are still finding each other within that plane of comfort. But they value love and vulnerability, and they know that through their exposure, they are sharing and celebrating it with the viewer. What is the symbolic intention behind the background colors and nature elements?
Nothing that lacks this can be stable. We should also in making our selection look out for simplicity, a social disposition, and a sympathetic nature, moved by what moves us. These all contribute to maintain loyalty. You can never trust a character which is intricate and tortuous.
Nor, indeed, is it possible for one to be trustworthy and firm who is unsympathetic by nature and unmoved by what affects ourselves. We may add, that he must neither take pleasure in bringing accusations against us himself, nor believe them when they are brought. All these contribute to form that constancy which I have been endeavouring to describe.
And the result is, what I started by saying, that friendship is only possible between good men. Now there are two characteristic features in his treatment of his friends that a good which may be regarded as equivalent to a wise man will always display. First, he will be entirely without any make-believe or pretence of feeling; for the open display even of dislike is more becoming to an ingenuous character than a studied concealment of sentiment.
Secondly, he will not only reject all accusations brought against his friend by another, but we will not be suspicious himself either, nor be always thinking that his friend has acted improperly.
The Supply Room
Besides this, there should be a certain pleasantness in word and manner which adds no little flavour to friendship. A gloomy temper and unvarying gravity may be very impressive; but friendship should be a little less unbending, more indulgent and gracious, and more inclined to all kinds of good-fellowship and good nature. But here arises a question of some little difficulty. Are there any occasions on which, assuming their worthiness, we should prefer new to old friends, just as we prefer young to aged horses?
The answer admits of no doubt whatever.
What Do Women Want?
For there should be no satiety in friendship, as there is in other things. The older the sweeter, as in wines that keep well. There is always hope of fruit, as there is in healthy blades of corn. But age too must have its proper position; and, in fact, the influence of time and habit is very great. To recur to the illustration of the horse which I have just now used: Every one likes ceteris paribus to use the horse to which he has been accustomed, rather than one that is untried and new.
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And it is not only in the case of a living thing that this rule holds good, but in inanimate things also; for we like places where we have lived the longest, even though they are mountainous and covered with forest. But here is another golden rule in friendship: put yourself on a level with your friend. Now he never assumed any airs of superiority over Philus, or Rupilius, or Mummius, or over friends of a lower rank still.
For instance, he always shewed a deference to his brother Quintus Maximus because he was his senior, who, though a man no doubt of eminent character, was by no means his equal. He used also to wish that all his friends should be the better for his support. This is an example we should all follow. If any of us have any advantage in personal character, intellect, or fortune, we should be ready to make our friends sharers and partners in it with ourselves. For instance, if their parents are in humble circumstances, if their relations are powerful neither in intellect nor means, we should supply their deficiencies and promote their rank and dignity.
You know the legends of children brought up as servants in ignorance of their parentage and family. When they are recognised and discovered to be the sons of gods or kings, they still retain their affection for the shepherds whom they have for many years looked upon as their parents. Much more ought this to be so in the case of real and undoubted parents.
For the advantages of genius and virtue, and in short of every kind of superiority, are never realised to their fullest extent until they are bestowed upon our nearest and dearest. But the converse must also be observed. For in friendship and relationship, just as those who possess any superiority must put themselves on an equal footing with those who are less fortunate, so these latter must not be annoyed at being surpassed in genius, fortune, or rank.
But most people of that sort are for ever either grumbling at something, or harping on their claims; and especially if they consider that they have services of their own to allege involving zeal and friendship and some trouble to themselves. People who are always bringing up their services are a nuisance.
The recipient ought to remember them; the performer should never mention them. In the case of friends, then, as the superior are bound to descend, so are they bound in a certain sense to raise those below them. For there are people who make their friendship disagreeable by imagining themselves undervalued. This generally happens only to those who think that they deserve to be so; and they ought to be shewn by deeds as well as by words the groundlessness of their opinion. Now the measure of your benefits should be in the first place your own power to bestow, and in the second place the capacity to bear them on the part of him on whom you are bestowing affection and help.
For, however great your personal prestige may be, you cannot raise all your friends to the highest offices of the State. For instance, Scipio was able to make Publius Rupilius consul, but not his brother Lucius. But granting that you can give any one anything you choose, you must have a care that it does not prove to be beyond his powers. People must not, for instance, regard as fast friends all whom in their youthful enthusiasm for hunting or football they liked for having the same tastes. By that rule, if it were a mere question of time, no one would have such claims on our affections as nurses and slave-tutors.
Not that they are to be neglected, but they stand on a different ground. It is only these mature friendships that can be permanent. For difference of character leads to difference of aims, and the result of such diversity is to estrange friends. The sole reason, for instance, which prevents good men from making friends with bad, or bad with good, is that the divergence of their characters and aims is the greatest possible. Another good rule in friendship is this: do not let an excessive affection hinder the highest interests of your friends.
This very often happens. I will go again to the region of fable for an instance. Neoptolemus could never have taken Troy if he had been willing to listen to Lycomedes, who had brought him up, and with many tears tried to prevent his going there. Again, it often happens that important business makes it necessary to part from friends: the man who tries to baulk it, because he thinks that he cannot endure the separation, is of a weak and effeminate nature, and on that very account makes but a poor friend.
If you like it, then you should’ve put a caster on it
There are, of course, limits to what you ought to expect from a friend and to what you should allow him to demand of you. And these you must take into calculation in every case. Again, there is such a disaster, so to speak, as having to break off friendship. And sometimes it is one we cannot avoid.
For at this point the stream of our discourse is leaving the intimacies of the wise and touching on the friendship of ordinary people. In such cases friendships should be allowed to die out gradually by an intermission of intercourse. They should, as I have been told that Cato used to say, rather be unstitched than torn in twain; unless, indeed, the injurious conduct be of so violent and outrageous a nature as to make an instance breach and separation the only possible course consistent with honour and rectitude.
Again, if a change in character and aim takes place, as often happens, or if party politics produces an alienation of feeling I am now speaking, as I said a short time ago, of ordinary friendships, not of those of the wise , we shall have to be on our guard against appearing to embark upon active enmity while we only mean to resign a friendship. For there can be nothing more discreditable than to be at open war with a man with whom you have been intimate. Scipio, as you are aware, had abandoned his friendship for Quintus Pompeius on my account; and again, from differences of opinion in politics, he became estranged from my colleague Metellus.
In both cases he acted with dignity and moderation, shewing that he was offended indeed, but without rancour. Our first object, then, should be to prevent a breach; our second, to secure that, if it does occur, our friendship should seem to have died a natural rather than a violent death. Next, we should take care that friendship is not converted into active hostility, from which flow personal quarrels, abusive language, and angry recriminations.
These last, however, provided that they do not pass all reasonable limits of forbearance, we ought to put up with, and, in compliment to an old friendship, allow the party that inflicts the injury, not the one that submits to it, to be in the wrong. This sort of man is rare; and indeed all excellent things are rare; and nothing in the world is so hard to find as a thing entirely and completely perfect of its kind. But most people not only recognise nothing as good in our life unless it is profitable, but look upon friends as so much stock, caring most for those by whom they hope to make most profit.
Accordingly they never possess that most beautiful and most spontaneous friendship which must be sought solely for itself without any ulterior object. They fail also to learn from their own feelings the nature and the strength of friendship.
For every one loves himself, not for any reward which such love may bring, but because he is dear to himself independently of anything else. But unless this feeling is transferred to another, what a real friend is will never be revealed; for he is, as it were, a second self. For man not only loves himself, but seeks another whose spirit he may so blend with his own as almost to make one being of two.
But most people unreasonably, not to speak of modesty, want such a friend as they are unable to be themselves, and expect from their friends what they do not themselves give. The fair course is first to be good yourself, and then to look out for another of like character. And this shews the mistake of those who imagine that friendship gives a privilege to licentiousness and sin. Nature has given us friendship as the handmaid of virtue, not as a partner in guilt: to the end that virtue, being powerless when isolated to reach the highest objects, might succeed in doing so in union and partnership with another.
This is the partnership, I say, which combines moral rectitude, fame, peace of mind, serenity: all that men think desirable because with them life is happy, but without them cannot be so. This being our best and highest object, we must, if we desire to attain it, devote ourselves to virtue; for without virtue we can obtain neither friendship nor anything else desirable. In fact, if virtue be neglected, those who imagine themselves to possess friends will find out their error as soon as some grave disaster forces them to make trial of them. Wherefore, I must again and again repeat, you must satisfy your judgment before engaging your affections: not love first and judge afterwards.
We suffer from carelessness in many of our undertakings: in none more than in selecting and cultivating our friends. We put the cart before the horse, and shut the stable door when the steed is stolen, in defiance of the old proverb. For, having mutually involved ourselves in a long-standing intimacy or by actual obligations, all on a sudden some cause of offence arises and we break off our friendships in full career. It is this that makes such carelessness in a matter of supreme importance all the more worthy of blame.
That is not the case in regard even to virtue itself; for many people speak slightingly of virtue as though it were mere puffing and self-glorification. Nor is it the case with riches. Many look down on riches, being content with a little and taking pleasure in poor fare and dress. And so on with the rest; things desirable in the eyes of some are regarded by very many as worthless. For friendship, in one way or another, penetrates into the lives of us all, and suffers no career to be entirely free from its influence.
Though a man be of so churlish and unsociable a nature as to loathe and shun the company of mankind, as we are told was the case with a certain Timon at Athens, yet even he cannot refrain from seeking some one in whose hearing he may disgorge the venom of his bitter temper. We should see this most clearly, if it were possible that some god should carry us away from these haunts of men, and place us somewhere in perfect solitude, and then should supply us in abundance with everything necessary to our nature, and yet take from us entirely the opportunity of looking upon a human being.
Who could steel himself to endure such a life? Who would not lose in his loneliness the zest for all pleasures? Toronto Tool Library. Remida - Borgo San Lorenzo. Remida - Reggio Emilia. Remida - Turin. Wairarapa Resource Centre. Wanaka Wastebusters. Remake Scotland. Angus Attic. Borders Scrapstore. Creative Waste Exchange. Play Resource. House of Objects. Percy Middlesbrough Scrapstore. Bootle and Sefton Play Counci l. Grumpy Salford - We Resource Play. M24 ARTS. Oldham Play Action Group. Wirral Play Development Centre.
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