'Easy' is a series of photographs developed as part of a group project I was involved with 'from one to many' during my time studying in Berlin. The project involved reflecting on the use of the studio, a verbal presentation of which I included these images, and working with an architecture class to examine the use of the space. More information on the project can be found here.
The photos depict me star-fishing nearly nude across the studio, with a written reflection that accompanied the images bellow.
When working at UdK, my practise centred around how I fit into things. For example, my role and place in educational institutions or my physically in a space. I became aware of my ability to sculpt myself into anything I wanted, as I was isolated from anyone who knew me.
When I initially arrived at The Glasgow School of Art, I was placed into a class whereby there was already an Izzy, whose practise centred largely around performance and nudity. This meant when introducing myself, people would make the assumption that, as Izzy from Sculpture, I would love to get naked all the time. It is worthy to note that in Scotland, this is significantly less common than the average lake in Berlin over summer.
As well as working independently on my own projects, I became aware that being in Klasse Bonvicini I was suddenly able to be ‘the Izzy who takes her clothes off’; a goal I wasn’t aware I was intending to achieve in life. I found whilst studying abroad in Germany, when introducing myself, people had difficulty pronouncing my name and I was regularly confronted with the joke, although in most cases serious, ‘Oh Easy - like the opposite of difficult?’. I found this incredibly entertaining because being ‘easy’ in English means somebody who is quick to put-out or takes little effort to seduce but can also be used as a way of telling someone to calm down, which I found could happen occasionally with my constant desire to create something physical. The combination of exploring sexuality and humour is a defining element in my practise and this is what the title of this work refers to; as well as the obviously incredibly simple process of moving country alone.
I found whilst studying abroad I was able to directly compare the academic institutions and different learning ideologies of the education systems I was in. I was interested in the contrast between the ‘learning via making’ style in the UK, to the more discussion and conceptual based approach that was employed in this project. An exchange is a transaction and I enjoyed navigating tensions that arose such as: language barriers, preconceptions and class politics.
Of course, there was a physical difference having the unique opportunity to work in such a big open studio, well suited for sculpture making, whereas in the past, I noted I enjoy the pressure of working in more confined workplaces, such as placing myself into the corners of a studio or working in places of flux like corridors. Being compressed is a theme I explore more widely in my work and is challenged here by me pushing my own boundaries, trying to embrace the freedom and amount of independence studying at UdK brought me, interjecting into a space, rather than fitting into it.
Stripping it back, if you pardon the pun, this work looks to play with and question the way we interact with a space. The issue of the gaze is partially evaded by my decision to wear underwear, instead wearing just pants in an empty freezing studio is comical and I am interested into the suggestiveness and temporality of this action. Not only does my body work as a comment on female sexuality, but I make physical the openness of the studio. I become a personification of the context; exemplifying the openness involved in an exchange, being borderless movement between countries that are usually restricted. My interactions with R95a are based off of a displacement; both in general and in this work.