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Bringing the Naked Back

Bringing the Naked Back

The Lady Garden is back for more naked adventures – for the 2013 New Zealand Fringe Festival! In a performance installation investigating the nude female body as an asexual object, the Lady Gardeners invite you to view, write, draw, objectify and desexualise their bodies.

Fresh from the premiere, December 2012, The Lady Garden is bringing the Naked back for the Fringe. This time, The Lady Garden will have Matchbox Studios to itself for one full day of Naked Ladies and will even have a live DJ.

The premise is simple – find various forms and instances whereby women can be objects. A lampshade lady and a potted lady-plant are two of the exhibits. But the audience is also challenged to interact with these objects – to see if one can truly engage with their inanimate aspects. Thus bodies will, also, amongst other things, be available as writing surface and canvas, and as life models for drawing by the audience.

“The idea for The Lady Garden came about from my work as a life model in the UK and I encourage viewers to bring sketch-books and drawing materials,” explains director Virginia Kennard. That a body can simply be a collection of lines, angles and shadows lead to her seeing the body as an object, and investigating the non-sexual nature of this objectification.

“I am definitely looking forward to taking over Matchbox with the art works that came out of last year, but also giving the exhibits more space to be viewed and interacted with,” - Virginia enjoys the intimate gallery space of Matchbox Studios, and that “there really is nowhere to hide!”

“Every night of the performance was different, anything can happen,” says Jillian Davey, one of the December 2012 Lady Gardeners. “The audience makes a big difference to our antics and I had a lot of fun as Nyotaimori (body as food platter). Some performance-goers were unaware they were allowed to indulge, whilst for others it was a welcome snack.”

“The most interesting responses for me,” continues Virginia, “are where the audience realises what they are allowed to do in the performance space”. The audience can leave feedback via Post-its on the exhibits, watering the flower pot lady, dancing to the in-house DJ. Says Virginia “interaction is an important part of reaching the goal of objectification and desexualisation.”

This exhibition challenges the viewer’s gaze of the naked female form, asking whether what it means and whether it is possible for a woman to be desexualised and objectified.

The Lady Garden
Sunday 17th February 2013, 12noon – 7pm
Matchbox Studios, Level One, 166 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington


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