PAIN/ PLEASURE DIPTYCH
This diptych is made up of two 16 second stop motion animations, played as loops. Both are self-portraits, both have paint applied on top of each image, and both depict the subject being contorted against her will by unseen forces - the animation pulls her in different directions, and a white “aura” continually sweeps through the image. In the Pain Portrait, the paint’s color and style feels harsh, gritty, destructive, while in the Pleasure Portrait, it feels electric, lush, fluid. In contrast to Hungry and Regular Programming, the diptych’s do reach a point of explosive climax.
PAIN PORTRAIT: In this endless loop, the subject is repeatedly, forcibly pushed around the frame by abstract forces. She seems unable to move for herself, but is instead controlled against her will. She is made subservient to the animation’s speed and repetitive editing, and the paint imposed over her image. The overall effect is fast, rough, and violent, and asks the viewer to empathize with her experience. Lack of control is rendered as a painful experience.
PLEASURE PORTRAIT: Is the subject truly enjoying herself, or is it just an act to elicit a pleasurable response from others? Is this how she really is, or just how she’s forced to act? And how should we, as conscientious viewers, feel about her pleasure in this case - is it still exciting? Is it empowering, to take this notion of the male gaze back and reincarnate it as the subject’s own desire, or is it playing into male-driven BDSM stereotypes?