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Title: Bags 2017, (5) unique 3D printed figures in an edition of (5) transparent hand bags © Mackenzie Younger. Present location: New York City.
Excerpt from Ravelin Magazine interview on Bags happening
Text & Interview: Alec Coiro
Photos: Olimpia Dior
I understand that the performance will take place on Canal Street and involve sculptures and the public’s reactions to the sculptures. Can you tell us a little about these sculptures, and what type of reaction you might expect them to illicit?
I’ll answer this question by first providing context to why these sculptures were created. So far my series Jackets has been very empowering. The actual jackets when worn publicly at art fairs and openings almost give you, as I’ve jokingly said with friends…’ super powers’. They make who ever wears them 10-times more interesting. People approach you, ask questions, take photos… the spectacle feels great, especially for creatives like me who go through long periods of quiet obscurity and then lust for activity, social expectancy, and public celebration. Clothes have always been deployed for social leverage but also reflect larger, more important cultural trends.
Based on this experience with the jackets, I wanted to create work that could act as a counterbalance and reflect my more personal feelings of insecurity, wanting and disempowerment. The sculptures; 3D printed figures placed in clear plastic bags are literal, scaled down versions of me. They relate to the jackets through a language of fashion and collectibles but more importantly in addressing commodity culture. As an artist, I’m faced with the conflict of becoming a commodity and how to sell it.
I expect people to see these sculptures as being provocative. Provocative because I’m naked. Nudity is used as tactic these days to build an audience via social media but nudity is also a very conservative and classical way to portray people in art. My use of scale and figure are tended to create mixed feelings. At the end of the day when the jackets come off we’re all naked, but yet it’s still outrageous. These pieces are intended to reflect my humanity, one of multitudes and conflict.
You qualified that it’s more of a “happening” than a performance. Can you elaborate on that distinction
I consider the appearance on canal street a happening because I have no intentions of it being a performance. A performance in my mind is more orchestrated, this is situational. I simply want to put the work into the public arena and see how people react. It will probably be very boring. But informative.