Spring 2020

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Thesis Committee Chair

Dan Scott, MFA

Thesis Committee Members

Astri Snodgrass, MFA

Niharika Dinkar, PhD

Artist's Statement

My work is about the disconnection women can experience to their bodies by complying with standards of beauty and acceptability that are imposed upon them in western culture. These standards are determined by the dominant culture and problematize bodies that don’t satisfy these standards. This failure to satisfy these standards is then remedied by modifications to the body. These modifications come in the form of consumer products that require time as well as money to execute. The work needed to present an acceptable appearance is what theorists refer to as aesthetic labor.1

When women choose not to comply with the standards socially set for their appearance, it is seen as an act of transgression. The boundary that is crossed in this transgression is based on a superficial convention that has nothing to do with the natural appearance of a woman, but is instead more of a “fictional construction.”2

1 Ana Sofia Elias, Rosalind Gill, and Christina Scharff, eds. Aesthetic Labour: Rethinking Beauty Politics in Neoliberalism (London: Palgrave Macmillan Limited, 2017). Accessed March 2, 2020. ProQuest Ebook Central.

2 Jayne Wark, Radical Gestures: Feminism and Performance Art in North America (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2006), p. 182.

Aesthetic Labor