"young money" by myla dalbesio

you know who, recently put me on to Myla DalBesio, who according to her website is: an American multi-disciplinary visual artist, specializing in photography, performance, video, and sculpture. Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1987 [dang, what am i doing w/my life???], she studied Fine Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently based in New York City. Her work is greatly influenced by religion and ritualistic practices, the mystic patterns of the natural world, and the underlying sexual perversions within all humans.

super interesting stuff.

In the hyperallergic interview about her piece "young money", and her work in general she says: "I have been signed to Ford as a model for years, and after spending so much time on that side of the fashion industry, one kind of starts to view the body as a commodity. Personality and talent certainly play a role in the successes of a model, but when it comes down to brass tacks, it’s only your appearance and what you can do with your body that matters. In theory, it’s not unlike the position of a stripper. In both situations you are selling an image, an idea of yourself, and that’s how you have to work it, regardless of your true, internal identity. That’s where the first ideas for the performance originated."

"I own my body, it is mine and I refuse to allow people to dictate what I can and cannot do with it. I have the courage and conviction to use it as a tool in provoking a greater thought process in the minds of individuals, and there is nothing anti-feminist about that sentiment at all. It would be naive to ignore the fact that some attendees didn’t pick up on the deeper meaning. Were there viewers who only cared to stare at my breasts and who left thinking of it as nothing but a good time? Certainly. And yes, that does make me feel taken advantage of. But it was my choice to put myself in that situation, no one forced me into it. I am willing to give of myself for the growth of others, and that is sacrifice, not exploitation."

sooo...idk about this piece in particular, having not been there to experience the performance i reserve comment on the photos. to me if its performance, its hard to 'evaluate' it based on a flat image. what i do really appreciate is what she has to say about her work. that is what resonates with me. besides the fact that professionally, i am everyday immersed in thinking through the healthy construction, preservation and expression of sexual self, artistically i'm interested in exploring some of this in my work but less as such a dramatic spectacle in a gallery but uncovering all of the ways that we [insert (not just sexually) marginalized group here] experience the spectacle of exploitation on a regular/every-day basis in regular places (work, school, street) 'under' the radar of majority culture and the secret society-ness of those who not only experience, recognize and critique, subvert, re-purpose/power these identities as such. unfortunately i don't think the body/appearance as a commodity and what you can do with your body being the only thing that matters is unique to strippers and models. its something i'm painfully aware of as i move through the world at all times.