Theoretical Production Update

The Ethics of Caring has been an interesting addition to my theoretical research for my Thesis. I am intrigued not only by how Women as a gender are seen as natural born caregivers, but also how gender roles, in relation to caring, have evolved through time. Relating this to my own personal experience, of my father being the more comfortable caregiver in my family, I find it fascinating to dive deeper into the specifics of why some of us feel the need care for others, while others do not. As well as, how this notion of caring for others activates and relates to memories.

-“Women, in particular, seem to approach moral problems by placing themselves as nearly as possible in concrete situations and assuming personal responsibility for the choices to be made. They define themselves in terms of caring and work their way through moral problems from the position of one-caring. This position or attitude of caring activates a complex structure of memories, feelings, and capacities. Further, the process of moral decision making that is founded on caring requires a process of concretization rather than one of abstraction”(p. 8).

For my Theoretical Production piece, I am creating a plaster sculpture that captures the shape of my hug. This will be accompanied by a film of me hugging and interacting with the sculpture. The sculpture will be an interactive piece, and warmed with a heat lamp from inside and therefore warm to the touch. It will be positioned on an altar of sorts, free moving so it has a slight give side to side when hugged. In order to create this, I first constructed a cylinder about the same height as me out of hardware cloth, and hugged it until it molded to the negative shape that my body left from this action. I then covered the structure with multiple layers of plaster, and am in the process of sanding down the piece to create a rich and soft surface.

I have had this idea to create a piece that captured the shape of a hug for a while now, and am excited to be finally creating it. Its quite a special thing to see your ideas and dreams come to life through the process of art making. I am also investigating why I specifically feel the need to create work that nurtures others, Reading "The Ethics of Caring" has been quite informative for understanding the psyche behind this need. I am literally creating a piece that hugs myself--there's something there. I am creating this piece for myself, not for others as I initially thought. Is this because of my memories, and longing for caring and being cared for?

“We behave ethically toward one another, I have suggested, because we carry with us the memories of and longing for caring and being cared-for. There is a transfer of feeling and an opportunity- an invitation of sorts-to commit ourselves to the recognition of this feeling and to the continuing receptivity that will bring it to us again and again”(p 149).

I am keeping images of the actual piece to myself until it gets further along..but here are some terrible sketches from my notebook to give you an idea of what I am talking about.


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