Miss Chloe Claustrophobia, as she appears in the photographs posted in earlier entries of this blog, is not in her completed state. Those photographs are depictions, each an individual completed work of art in-and-of-itself, of a raw-material, prior to its use, for a larger piece of art. Miss Claustrophobia the mannequin is merely a canvas, on which Miss Claustrophobia the piece of art, which is merely a depiction of a single set of facets of Miss Claustrophobia the concept (the larger piece of art), will be rendered. The prior-posted photographs are therefore similar to art photographs of a blank canvas, positioned at particular angles, in order to make a statement.
Is one phase of her existence, one particular medium of art with which her concept is capture or exemplified, more genuinely, therefore, who "Miss Claustrophobia" is or is intended to be than another? Absolutely not. Is the pre-modification mannequin that graciously sat as my model for the photography set less authentic, complete, or representative of the themes that I use her to demonstrate then the form that has been muddled and modified with paints and words and sculptural elements? Absolutely not. Much as an individual at a prior stage of their development is still relevant to understanding their identity, even if their views or dispositions may not agree with the present juncture, each stage of rendering of the identity of Miss Claustrophobia is relevant and crucial to a complete understanding of her conceptual identity. Miss Claustrophobia as a naked, unadorned mannequin, struck and captured into a variety of poses by the click of a camera-shutter, can tell us things about the ideas being expressed that the post-adornment version of the same physical mannequin cannot after the time has been taken to spell out on her the physical ideas that I wish her body to eventually express.
I might be getting ahead of myself a bit. Miss Claustrophobia has yet to actually be modified or adorned.
In fact, she currently sits, still naked, in a corner of my office/ bedroom/ studio, with a ribbon on her neck, placed there on a whim one night and yet to be removed. The ribbon says "Bride to Be," and was worn by my frequent (and oftentimes reluctant) performance-art collaborator Hysteric Noir to a suicide-themed costume-party (get it? social suicide? yeah, ok, hardly anyone else seemed to think it was as funny as we did, so you're not alone...). The whim worked. The "Bride to Be" ribbon, and the reason that it was initially purchased and worn, fits the concept of the project rather well, and is therefore an appropriate adornment for Chloe at this phase of her development.
(I'm betting that the reader is now beginning to think that this sort of description seems a bit over-wrought and superfluous. And I agree. So I will alert you now to a shift in narrative modes. I am now relying on abstraction to illuminate, which I thoroughly believe not to be the non-sequetor it might initially seem.)
Performance art? Yes, this factors into the identity of Miss Claustrophobia as well. Does this mean that as one of the medium facets of the project I have a large scale and conspicuous performance-art exhibition planned? As of now, absolutely not.
However, this project is one which deals with, at its most simplistic level, issues of identity.
It is my firm belief that an artist's creation of his own identity is inherently an act of performance-art.
Therefore, individuals who come into contact with artists who are aware of this act of identity-creation that they are engaged in factor, whether they wish to acknowledge it or not, as collaborators in the demonstration. They are participants, and often even raw-materials, in the piece of art being constructed.
The relation of my anecdote about the suicide-themed party, and the subsequent placement of the ribbon on Chloe's neck, where it accidentally seemed to make sense to me as a facet of the mannequin's current identity, is in-and-of-itself a piece of art (another raw material) that I am utilizing to demonstrate a particular angle on the overarching idea.
This entry itself, therefore, is (hypothetically) merely another piece of art, another aspect of Miss Chloe Claustrophobia's identity. As will, and has been, every other, subsequent and to come.