Thursday, February 25, 2016

Jennifer Angus | A Revisit

Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend J. Angus' talk last week because a bitch has rent to pay! I can, however, research and put my Google skills to use!

Upon landing on her website, I can immediately tell that she's utterly obsessed with insects.  What happened during her childhood that made her connect with insects so strongly? The only memories of insects I have as a child are ones of fear and "get me the hell away from it!!!!"  Growing up in Texas really fucks with you as kid.  Cockroaches and crickets become a trigger for you, especially during the hot and humid summer months that are also known as the best times for bugs to get busy and make babies.

does this look like a happy childhood to you?

Childhood memories aside, the work that Jennifer Angus is able to create from forms and shapes that we usually deem dirty and downright gross is quite beautiful.  In a sense, she is a true artist, capable of capturing beauty in something I have such a nasty memory of.  Her use of pattern is such a delight to the eye and her ability to utilize the organic color of the insects on such a large scale is striking.

seriously, how gorgeous!
While I appreciate the beauty in her work, I don't think this is something I would want decorating my walls. :)

Making [Retail] Faces


            I’m inspired by YouTubers that create alternate reality characters, obvious simulacras based on a particular stereotype.  However, I’m only truly impressed by those that go the extra mile and really go for the extreme… previously non-existent even. 
            Part of my inspiration also includes those that I interact with almost daily at my job, my coworkers.  They fearlessly brave the unknown every time the store business doors open for the day.  They don their retail face for those that pose a danger to their inner zen that they worked so hard to reach.


I have two plans at the moment:

1.    Create and expand on the Snapchat stories that I have started, inviting other retail employee friends of mine to record their experiences and twists on evil heathen customers that have stood out to them.  This would be a very short stream of consciousness type film that would be similar to that of the Snapchat stories function.  The idea is to capture the side of retail unfamiliar to those that have never had to try and sell anything to make a living.

2.    Create a collage or photo series of retail face selfies from retail employees in the Fox Valley area and beyond.  This would be a collection of photos from people donning their best “I’m ready to help!!!!” mentality, with an extreme twist of course.  My goal here would be to capture the simulation of our retail persona, the persona that says “we’re here, some of us are queer, and we’re ready to make you drop some cash even though I’ve been having a really shitty day and I can’t afford my student loan bills and rent and food for my cat and I really need an oil change but I haven’t really been able to save up for that because I need money to buy weed just to de-stress from the ever growing problems that our generation is constantly encountering wow that blush looks fantastic on you!!!!” :D


I'm going forward with my idea to gather retail selfies from friends and strangers alike to compose a collage on a blog, similar to the Pantone skin tone blog humane.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

RuPaul: The Image

I chose to do my presentation on the illustrious, colorful, and ever-gorgeous RuPaul Andre Charles. My presentation focused on the breakdown stages of symbols, signs, and simulacra that Baudrillard discusses on page eleven.  Here it goes:

“ This would be the successive phases of the image:
            - it is the reflection of a basic reality
            - it masks and perverts a basic reality
            - it masks the absence of a basic reality

            - it bears no relation to any reality whatever: it is its own pure simulacrum”

I had a really difficult time understanding this text until I found a breakdown of this breakdown on the wonderful internet.  I'll do a little bit of an explanation stage by stage with the corresponding "version" of Ru.

[Basic Reality Ruflection]

"The first stage is a faithful image/copy, where we believe, and it may even be correct, that a sign is a "reflection of a profound reality" (pg 6), this is a good appearance."

This is RuPaul at his organic, natural state.  The Ru that was born in San Diego, grew up in Atlanta, made the move to NYC during his early adult years, and that is now living in California with a farmer/cowboy husband in Wyoming.  This is the Ru that people admire, love, look up to, and receive guidance from.  

Some "Ru names" I have for this stage are: Mother Ru, Spiritual Guru Ru, Enlightened Ru, and quite simply, Ru.

[Rebel Punk Genderfuck Ru]

"The second stage is perversion of reality, this is where we come to believe the sign to be an unfaithful copy."

This is the wild, carefree, genderfuck adolescent, early adult Ru that thrived in the clubs of NYC in the late 80s, early 90s.  This Ru was a perverted, dirty, rebel version of the queen that we know today.  Many of Ru's fans have absolutely no idea that Ru was a genderfuck punk androgynous queen that would walk the streets of NYC with a dreadlock ponytail, shaved sides, wearing football gear with plastic bags as his shoes.

Some Ru names are: Drag Queen Ru, Rebel Ru, Punk Ru, 

[Supermodel Ru]

"The third stage masks the absence of a profound reality, where the sign pretends to be a faithful copy, but it is a copy with no original. Signs and images claim to represent something real, but no representation is taking place and arbitrary images are merely suggested as things which they have no relationship to."

Oh RuPaul, how I love you in your supermodel stage!  This is the Ru that really took gay and straight America by storm.  Music videos, songs, tv appearances, even her own television show!! Ru ate the spotlight and really amped up her presence during this time period.  1990s in NYC to be specific. Ru finally created her ultimate drag persona, the glamazon that we know today as RuPaul, the world's FIRST drag superstar.

Some Ru names: Pop Culture Ru, Diva Ru, Supermodel Ru, Queen Ru, Singer Ru, Performer Ru, Entertainer Ru

[Supreme Mother Ru]

"The fourth stage is pure simulation, in which the simulacrum has no relationship to any reality whatsoever. Here, signs merely reflect other signs and any claim to reality on the part of images or signs is only of the order of other such claims. Cultural products need no longer even pretend to be real in a naïve sense, because the experiences of consumers' lives are so predominantly artificial that even claims to reality are expected to be phrased in artificial, "hyperreal" terms. Any naïve pretension to reality as such is perceived as bereft of critical self-awareness, and thus as over sentimental."

This is the most current version of RuPaul, the Supreme Mother and Queen RuPaul.  The ever-giving, ever-talented, ever-gorgeous Ru that runs the fucking show.  She is all-knowing, all-seeing, and all-being Ru.  She bears no resemblance to that of her natural organic state, yet they are still one and the same.  She has finally achieved her hyperreal persona of the Goddess that millions of Americans pant and drool for as she glides down the runway in her custom made wigs, custom made gowns, and custom painted faces. She is immaculate.  She is beauty.  She is grace. She is Miss Drag Superstar of the fucking United States. And the goddamn galaxy, baby.

Names you may regard her as: Mother Ru, Supreme Ru, Enlightened Ru, Commercial Ru