Acciones Plásticas Statement (2006)
In the series Acciones Plásticas, I created a multi-faceted “doll”, assuming the role of designer and distributor, and even posing as the actual doll itself. My product is “marketed” in five distinct styles: The Orthodox Jew©, The JAP©, The Chach©, The Sexy Latina©, and The Mayan©. Each doll is a satirical characterization of the many roles that have been projected upon me, and into which I have, to some extent, inevitably fallen.
The dolls are always featured completely isolated from their expected surrounding environment. They never actually perform their assumed ritual; instead they merely model the pose in which their expected action would normally occur. As “ethnic objects”, the dolls are removed from their original context. Much like actual commercial dolls or other artifacts of popular culture, the viewer observes them without consideration of relevant socio-economic issues, heritage, or cultural practices.
In conjunction with these images, I developed a short series of films in which I become “real women” whose lives have been visibly defined by these societal constructs. Modeled after MySpace profiles and YouTube “video blogs”, the films are intended to appeal to high school age girls, who are accustomed to the culture of self-promotion which is prevalent in such online communities. In creating this work, I have been very conscious of the fine line between self-exploitation and proper utilization, with regard to my own status as a representative of a greater cultural identity. Since the project’s inception, I have continuously incorporated and placed equal value on the input of other young women, making this piece an ongoing and interactive performance. Acciones Plásticas itself does not provide an actual, tangible resolution. Instead, it slyly functions as a catalyst in creating dialogue, which is instrumental in the process of empowering young women.
ACCIONES PLÁSTICAS UPDATES:
“Reconsidering Acciones Plásticas: The Online Process of Negotiating Identity”
Acciones Plásticas was originally conceived as an interactive performance piece meant to combat stereotypes affecting young women. Modeled after low-quality videos blogs, Jewish Women, Jewish Girls, The Club, and Latina Role Model each feature a woman whose life is defined by societal expectations. The videos were strategically placed on popular social networking sites, including YouTube and MySpace. The layout of YouTube contextualized the videos and framed them with user comments and similarly tagged user content. Jewish Girls was picked up by a popular left-wing Jewish blogging site Jewschool, and soon entered the Jewish Blogosphere where it was referred to as the JAP. This repositioning shifted the focus from the portrayal of multiple interwoven identities to a depiction of the Jewish American Princess. Web-based conversations surrounding the video increasingly mistook the artist for the piece. The JAP became how people knew my work, validating me while simultaneously conflating my identity with that of this particular character. Concerned with the dissemination of these online misinterpretations, I began to reposition their commentary including it into the piece. This presentation will be the most recent iteration of an ongoing process of recontextualiztion.
2007 post on Jewschool Can we please not revive that ugly stereotype?
2007 (pages from) article in Bitch Magazine The Princess Diaries: In an Age of Ostentation the J.A.P is Back
Google image search for Latina Role Model (2010)