Sunday, December 4, 2011

Creative Process Journal: If Marie Antoinette was a Blogger

If Marie Antoinette was a Blogger II by Ingrid Mida (Copyright 2011)

In this work, a dress once worn by Marie Antoinette from the collection of the Royal Ontario Museum is reimagined and recreated from a mash up of toile de jouey fabrics which depict an appropriated version of Fraggonard’s painting The Swing. This post-modern pastiche of the original dress is embellished with hot pink ribbons, a colour associated with third wave feminism. Instead of the panier and petticoat normally worn with a robe a la francaise, the dress is styled in a contemporary way with jeans and brogues to further emphasize the post-modern aspect of its creation.

In a nod to the construction of identity reflected in the phenomena of personal style blogs, the artist photographs herself wearing the dress while holding a mirror over her face. The mirror, a tool used by style bloggers to hide their identity, also symbolizes femininity. With further manipulation in Photoshop, multiple selves are depicted in the ballroom of the Palais Garnier in Paris as a play on the myth of photographic truth.

The title of the work, If Marie Antoinette was a Blogger, signifies the irony with which this project was conceived. In the post that would accompany the image, Marie Antoinette would quote theorist Michel Foucault on the aesthetics of existence from his 1984 work On the Genealogy of Ethics as follows:

What strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is related only to objects and not to individuals, or to life. That art is something which is specialized or which is done by experts who are artists. But couldn’t everyone’s life become a work of art?...From the idea that the self is not given to us, I think that there is only one practical consequence: we have to create ourselves as a work of art” (350-1).

With a blog, everyone’s life can become a work of art today and therein lies the ultimate irony of Foucault's statement.  

For further reading:
"Personal Fashion Blog: Screens and Mirrors in Digital Self-portraits" by Agnes Rocamora in Fashion Theory, Volume 15, Issue 4, December 2011

On the Genealogy of Ethics: An overview of work in Progress. In P. Rabinow (ed.), The Foucault Reader. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1984.

Project Clock: +12 hours for final embellishments and finishing of dress, photographs, manipulation in photoshop and preparation of artist statement
Total to date: 65 hours
P.S. This is the final post of the Creative Process Journal for this project. I hope you enjoyed the journey!

Notice of copyright: 
All text and images on this blog are the copyright of Ingrid Mida, unless otherwise noted. The copying of posts, images and/or text without proper attribution is violation of copyright and legal action will be pursued.