Cheryl Gage Power of the Suit | Art.co.za | Art in South Africa
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Power of the Suit

The idea for this artwork evolved from the notion that, in the Information Age, man and machine are correlative entities. The question of who is the boss is proposed within the context of the old romantic fear of the personification of inanimate machines. Hence the title of 'Who's The Boss...?' re-opens the debate of who is in 'control'.

As I contemplated the empowering facilities of the machine, I responded to the physical and conceptual weight and value of this appliance. The notions of weight and empowerment reminded me of the hierachical politics of office management and business competition... in short, the 'power of the suit'. I have completed a video sequence entitled 'The Power of the Suit'. This video is the third in a set of autobiographical narratives concerning my development as an artist. Relative to this recent experience, I chose to alter a suit of clothing to dress the machine. I tailored the suit jacket to wrap the shape and allow the various plug openings to remain operative. The distinct features of the suit jacket - the collar, lapels, buttons, pockets etc. needed to be kept intact. in order for the artwork to take on an anthropomorphic character. The use of the actual suit as woolen pin-striped material is also significant in terms of my current artistic investigation of the 'material' of paint and canvas, of light and of colour.

The inclusion of the 'found object' also serves as a means of symbolic equivalence. The instruction CD appealed to my imagination as an arena of 'performance' or demonstration, ... a merry-go-round, a circus. The issue of office politics came to mind... ' the games people play'.


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