Preserve Me, 2017, site specific installation, concrete, 363 x 40 x 40, photo: Kateryna Snizhko

preserve me 

"I’m standing straight with my arms stretched upwards, supporting the concrete ceiling. This column carries a burden and endurance of what is expected of me to be, perform, and stand for as a woman in the western society.

 

Be beautiful.
Be thin, but not too thin.
Be successful and driven, but caring.
Be strong, but feminine.


By maintaining these expectations for as long as I have known, I started to feel that I am turning into a structural material. The structure that became so permanent in its condition, that even a slightest friction inflicted to its existence could shake a very core of it. I became the pure representation and perpetuation of the stereotype. I am becoming concrete myself."


The site specific installation Preserve Me is constructed out of 40 different casts of the artist's own body. The process involved long casting sessions of standing still with her arms stretched up. Each instinctive movement would destroy the cast. The long duration of these sessions and the passiveness of the artist standing still for two hours reinforced the concept of this work. Yedidia was cast in plaster, preserving her posture; solid, stretched.

This process communicates the artist's personal reflections on gender stereotypes and objectification of female body in public domain. To support a heavy burden effortlessly one must hold absolute position, one that is neither questioned, nor sanctioned. To occupy the space is to claim the position of dominance. Contemporary society has yet to reach its full inclusion of female body as an equal and respected presence in public spheres.

Photo: Kateryna Snizhko

Photo: Robert Glas

© Romy Yedidia, 2019