Uniform by Lisa Strömbeck

March 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

By,

Märta

I just discovered the interesting project Uniform by Swedish artist Lisa Strömbeck. This is what she says about the  project,

‘The images in Uniform are immediately seductive. Glossy, luxuriant, and highly tactile. Full of feeling: the feeling of fingers buried in the fur of warm, breathing animals. Glossy, but not glamorous. Because the hands here are not the smooth, manicured hands of advertising. They are working hands – sinuous. They have a strenuousness that is part of the struggle. The struggle that emerges between the conflicting emotions generated by the work. Because do we see the animals in Uniform snuggling or confined? Are the cats stretching languorously or straining to escape? Is the poodle perfectly content or pleading for rescue? Is the terrier panting happily or feeling strangled? Pressed as they all are against the dead fur coat worn by the human. Stripped from flesh and devoid of a heartbeat.

 
In Uniform Strömbeck juxtaposes the contradictions between slaughter (of the fur’s animal) and love (of the pet animal) with piercing accuracy, exploring the needs pets can satisfy and the necessary questions this poses about human relations. The need for love and devotion free of the mesh of psychological complications that entangle our relationships with our two-legged friends and lovers. Complications and power struggles that are absent from the animal/owner relationship – the key word here being owner.
 
The role played by ownership and consumption in dehumanizing hierarchies is never far from Strömbeck’s works. A dog lover herself, she is merciless in her investigation of the emotional complex that constitutes our relationship to our pets – unafraid to examine the comfort, reassurance and space for emotional expression offered precisely by the fact that the hierarchy between the animal and human is given. Here the human is indisputably top dog.’

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