A description from the Artists,
Together this piece was created by 4 Masters students with different interdisciplinary backgrounds at the University at Buffalo. The initial idea came from playing with a shirt that had extended sleeves. With having this object to work with and moving and exploring with it we collectively figured out that our piece could be about body dysmorphia. From there we started including social media on how that influences people to “look” a certain way. Statistics on the US weight Loss Industry and used knowledge from one of our group members that is certified in working with and helping people struggling with an eating disorder. This piece went through many iterations and is still being workshopped to become a more extended piece. What we have showcased in this workshop and exploration is concrete material, collaboration with different disciplines and a piece that is just the beginning.
At the beginning of the piece we ask audience these questions: Is there something about your body you wish you could change? If so, What? What makes you feel physically attractive? Have you experienced someone (doctor, family, friends, etc.) telling you that you have had to lose weight? Do you compare yourselves to others when you’re in public? What do you LOVE about your body? Have you ever tried to complete a FAD Diet? (Weight Watchers, Beach Body, Slim Fast, KETO)Have you ever complimented someone on their weight loss? What do you think is your Ideal body image? From there, they were prompted to write an answer to one of the questions and pin to one of the two shirts on display. This opened up a mindset that this was a safe space where these answers would remain nameless. At the end of the piece we throw these thoughts and comments away one by one after we say them out loud. Hoping that would trigger a feeling of relief to anyone who wrote in.
This activity then opened up to a larger part of this project, a more open conversation with the audience hoping to talk freely about struggles, good tips, any suggestions and most importantly give the information for anyone struggling with an eating disorder in their local area and who to talk to, to receive any help.
This piece is a work in progress and due to the audience interaction it will always change. What this group of artist is looking to achieve is a conversation that needs to stay present.