Belly Love, 2016, concrete, thread steel rods, hardware nuts, 20x47x37 cm. Photo: Arno Nollen
I am a circle that is trapped inside a square. From within I am a living, breathing individual, but was taught to place myself inside a concrete square corset that will hopefully keep me in control. To preserve the body is to answer social expectations. The corset carries the literal weight of a concrete block. It is equally painful and arousing to be in such a state. How perverse is the wish to belong! How easy it is to be defined by the other, and so painfully lonely to make a stand for yourself. To carry this social corset is to acknowledge what I have become.
‘Belly Love’ reflects on the dynamics of body control, performativity, and the social constructs relating to it. The video portrays the artist’s body in a concrete corset, uneased, standing static while holding a heavy block that slowly applies damaging pressure and weight upon her body. Yedidia ‘wears’ the corset until she reaches a breaking point where she must choose between her own safety and the constructs she is carrying. The work explores and challenges the thin line between self-acceptance and self-hatred.
Romy Yedidia, Belly Love, 2016, concrete, thread steel rods, hardware nuts, 20x47x37 cm / video, duration: 9 minutes.
Installation views from the exhibition Fool Me Once, Shame on You. Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me., U10 Art Space, Belgrade, Serbia, 2019.
Photography credits — Photo 1 and 5 (film still): Arno Nollen, photo 2 - 4: Nemanja Knežević