Glamour Trance statementGLAMOUR TRANCE
Undine Spragg "liked to know that what belonged to her was coveted by others.” Altogether, “she relished the image of her own charm mirrored in people around her.” Edith Wharton Custom of the Country.
The CAKES serve frothed up castles of delusion, hyperbolic princess-lands that ooze the saccharine, nuclear-pink glow of the girl toy aisles in FAO Schwarz. Think Rita Heyworth in the film “Gilda,” --hypnotic sizzle. Glamour Trance freezes time and stunts emotional development, yet supremely entertains. In Nabokovian poshlust-glitz, the CAKES embody both entrancing appearances, and the intoxication they kindle.
In Society of the Spectacle Guy DeBord delineates a “social space blanketed by stratum after stratum of commodities,” where "consumerism is tautological.” Acting out circular reasoning, one moves round and round the large CAKES drawn into mirrors and enticing layers of stuff. Likewise, shoppers are lured into a buying loop by “the cunning of the self-perpetuating commodity,” its siren call of more, its cellophane promise to raise one in the glazed esteem of one’s social circle.
The CAKES muse on counterpoles, paradoxes in our value systems. On one hand, we, drugged on stockpiling, have lost some essential function of the heart. Wrapped up in buying-lust, we miss the turpitude growing insidiously all around us. Blind eyes are turned to the military industrial complex and other corporate scourges: drone slaughter, daily torture of gentle farm animals, massive, windowless, solitary-confinement prisons.
That said, emotions and cultural insight can lurk in the shadows of display racks. Through fashion, one establishes persona, if not core identity in the social sphere. Overstated adornment is paramount in significant rituals of primitive people. The CAKES invoke Nietzsche’s autocratic child’s games, forgetfulness, and self-rolling wheel.
Likewise, asserting the interdependence of the ‘substantial’ and the ‘superficial in her craft, Helene Cisoux acknowledges “writing’s necessary relation with narcissism.” In fact, her ecriture feminine espouses “contradiction, incongruity, and polyvalent meaning.” Submerged in the depths behind the surface of the glossy CAKES is a “level of subconscious,” “an inner text in the text.”
A heretic, I worship the Golden Calf. I insert an escape clause into contemporary art’s oligarchical governance. (Descartes, Duchamp, Warhol, and God.) I profane their sacred cow: cold, anti-retinal, banal, Puritan. As Carter Ratcliff put it, "beauty” is “the spook in the theoretical machine." If a big fluffy white dog saunters into a meeting of pedigreed curators, it will steal the attention of all—concepts temporarily thrown to the wind.
In the film “Big Animal,” a fabulous show camel turns up to share dinner through the window of a dour Eastern European couple’s abode. The camel brightens their lives and cheers all who encounter it. Then the pragmatists come upon the dear being and start to ring up the cash register, calculating what pelts and meat would bring on the open market. Meanwhile other “good citizens” see a non-contributor in the camel. “He should be paying taxes, should be working,” etc. they carp self-righteously. In the end with new fur cap on a boy, we surmise what happened. Yet all the same, the couple’s emotional demeanor has been transformed permanently through communion with the fanciful mystical creature. Similarly, nodding to Lao Tzu’s ‘greatest treasure,’ ‘contentment,’ the CAKES signify quixotic, purposeless diversion.
Gae Savannah 2012