Lenticular print, 20"h x 36"w
How often and easily does the society’s gaze change its stance between “she was sexually restless” and “her heart had the right intentions”? This body of work, executed in lenticular prints so that different images come into view as the viewer’s stance in front of the subject shifts, encapsulates the relationship between the media and the news-consuming public when we are confronted with issues of gender conflicts.
Titled, L.H.O.O.Q.R. (2019), the work expands on gestures found in Marcel Duchamp’s seminal work, L.H.O.O.Q. (1919).
It was exactly one hundred years ago that Duchamp first conceived L.H.O.O.Q. -- "Elle a chaud au cul," when read in French. (trans. "She’s got a hot ass” or “She is sexually restless."). Duchamp's aim, in his avant-garde gesture, was at subverting the then-incumbent artistic establishment using Da Vinci's painting as a symbol of the establishment, and not at insulting that particular painting or debasing the female subject at large.
In my work, Duchamp's L.H.O.O.Q. now lends itself to represent an incumbent set of values of our time -- a historically male-dominant value system that still remains. Taking the cue from Duchamp’s framework which was heavily rooted in the problematic of language, I extend the pun by adding an “R” at the end. The phrase now reads, L.H.O.O.Q.R. ("Elle a chaud au coeur.") which can be roughly translated to: “She’s got a burning heart,” "Her mind is on fire," or "She feels warm to her heart (she feels blessed)." As the viewer shifts positions in front of the work, the “R” emerges along with images of iconic female figures in the place of Mona Lisa.
Critics of Modern art have discussed how and why we can’t unsee Mona Lisa’s mustache ever since Duchamp. By adding an “R,” I am perhaps even trying to rectify how hearing an expression like “she was sexually restless” just once can influence people’s sense of judgement.
Lenticular print, 40"w x 24"