Lily Hudson - The Birth of Venus


“The Birth Of Venus” is an installation drawing on gender, pseudoscience, and materiality in an attempt to discuss the femininity in my own family; wherein all members identify as female. The central fountain creates a meditative and surrealist space which draws on the aesthetic values in science fi ction, a mix of familiarity and alienness creating a mildly perverse space. This is combined with a small booklet of “Footnotes”: critical texts, Wikipedia articles, and Photoshopped work, which aim to add intertextuality, creating both psuedocredibility and interpretive context to the piece. My Father’s sex change made me reevaluate Fatherhood, in which intellectualism and physical protection are assumed. Using the imagery of the Statue of David, I want to off set the very feminine circular forms within the fountain with a more recognisable symbol of masculine idealism. “Brave New World” and “Woman at the Edge of Time” are two texts exploring the societal implications of the irradiations of motherhood, acknowledging the possibility that woman are disempowered by being able to reproduce, a theory worryingly in keeping with Aristotle’s hypothesis on the inferiority of women. I find myself increasingly interested in the ties between femininity and reproduction. I want to understand how the current precursors to femininity are no longer valid, and how these ideas can be extrapolated to a larger sociopolitical landscape. The water fountain was chosen to express this due to the many connotations water has.

Water is often seen at the start of creation myths, becoming a feminine entity that largely lacks personal agency and often requires masculine interference to shape. The tubes from which the water comes have more personal associations, as they are identical to the tubes used by my Mother to tube feed my Sister during her eating disorder. The toxicity of this action to their relationship became microcosmic to my perceptions of the differences between what a mother and father are assumed to give you: a mother giving intense emotional support at the expense of their own well-being, and a father being a godlike presence often assuming intellectually superior through emotional distance.

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