objectify

The performance 'Objectify' is an artist’s response and protest regarding the control and objectification of female presence within the public sphere. The performance is an endurance experience, where Yedidia stands straight, passive, composed. She is naked in the middle of the space, with her arms stretched upwards as a caryatid, while another female performer is moulding several of her body parts in plaster. All the while, she needs to endure the burning pain of standing still, resisting the heavy plaster, which is pulling her down. She is slowly losing a sense of her body, orientation and responsiveness to the environment around her. This repetitive action is finalized when a set of pre-assigned moulds is completed. This whole time the artist stays in her vulnerable position, exposed to an outer gaze and its surveillance.

 

The aspect of the collective gaze of the public becomes omnipresent and almost materialized through the fragmentation of the artist’s body. The repetitive presence of body parts oscillates between intimacy and alienation. They are naturalistic imprints, almost aggressively precise and detailed, revealing, and at the same time inviting for comparison and judgment.

Objectify, 2018, performance, 100 minutes, ISOamsterdam, Amsterdam, performers: Romy Yedidia, Marie Ilse Bourlanges, photos: Jessie Yingying Gong

© Romy Yedidia, 2021