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Conversation between Frances Goodman and Olivia Ramos.

Frances Goodman

 

RAMOS: Hi Frances, thank you fro joining me

 

GOODMAN: no problem

 

I was just looking at the piece "Seething Red"

 

I can't believe it is all made with acrylic nails... it makes me happy and uncomfortable at the same time

 

yes, that is what I was hoping to achieve with the work, it is both seductive and has a visceral affect on one

 

it feels very much 'of the body' as it were

 

I remember having acrylic nails for my 8th grade prom

 

and thinking it was the most horrific experience, especially after the natural nail begins to grow

 

what made you choose this medium?

 

I was attracted to the medium for a number of reasons

 

I like working with products from the beauty industry, things women use to adorn themselves with.  And false nails are an ideal example of this

 

but it's more than just that.  Nails grow off the body, and they have threatening and powerful connotations.  They also speak of the abject which I am interested in.

 

The way nails grow are, for a me, a metaphor of how women can colonize space.

 

I also like false nails as I feel they are one of the beauty regimes where women can really go all out, they can break the confines of beauty expectations

 

I am curious about your comment about women colonizing space.

 

Men can grow nails just as well

 

in fact many do

 

that is true

 

I suppose I am interested in femininity and my position as a woman, so that is my perspective.

 

 

 

Frances Goodman

 

 

fair

 

you can same similar things about hair

 

exactly,

 

I'm not excluding men

 

long hair is said to be a powerful thing for a woman

 

but men can grow it as well

 

yes, its all about social programming

 

and what is expected of us as both men and women

 

yeah and what is curious is that only in the social programming of women, do we get an excess of "prosthetics"

 

wigs, nails, implants...

 

it's almost as if our bodies are not enough

 

I was listening to a pod cast the other day that was discussing the rise of plastic surgery and it said how as women pump themselves with silicone they become more like dolls and the dolls of the sex industry are becoming more like women

 

This point really struck me and I think it has informed a lot of this exhibition -I am interested in the growing need women have to alter themselves.  And I'm interested in how we go below the surface to alter and change the exterior

 

that is a disturbing statistic

 

it is

 

as if men thought they knew what they wanted, got it, and now they want what they had

 

haha

 

the disturbing part is that women didn't stand up what what they were

 

If you look at films about fembots etc,  you see this fascination with the perfect, subservient woman, the woman who knows her place.

 

Creating a doll or fembot that looks like a woman and behaves like one, means that you can control the aspects and elements you get

 

there is no resistance or kick back

 

yes but you have to take a look at the economic landscape - I think women want the same thing, however, only men, at least in the past, have had the money to pay for such things. So an industry was built around it.

 

don't you think women have fantasies about obedient men?

 

I'm sure they do.

 

But I am interested in the social and capitalist structures that we operate in, the status quo as it were, and the notion of the obedient, submissive women is fed to us way more then the idea of the submissive man

 

absolutely, my point was only that this desire or instinct to control another human being is not specific to men

 

I agree

 

it has been possible for men, only via economic superiority

 

exactly

 

do you feel that this is changing?

 

yes I do think it is

 

However, I do feel these social constructs are so entrenched and deep seated that it's very hard to shift things

 

because I think we find ourselves acting to type even when we're trying to resist and break away

 

yes well we can't just detached from society, there are consequences

 

and these entrenched constructs or social contracts have been around for thousands of years

 

yes, because it's not in the interests of the power structures for us to detach

 

if we do they lose their power and control

 

big business, advertising, politics etc. relies on having control over people

 

so rely, not relies

 

lets add religion and academia to that list

 

good point

 

it is everywhere

 

it is

 

but it isn't only towards women, it can be racial and classist

 

very true. mostly even more so.

 

yes but to your point, even within the races, women are always sees as less than.

 

I agree, that is extremely complex.

 

in some cases, in some religions to be more specific, there were claims that women had no souls

 

that they were merely vessels for procreation

 

and then older schools of thought that said God was a woman

 

obviously that is not the case today

 

no, that wouldn't work for the patriarchal model we operate under

 

yes it wouldn't work, but if this is the truth, and women do have souls then those guys are in for a big surprise

 

Hopefully they're surprised every day.  And every time the status quo is challenged and things change, the balance of power will shift.

 

that is a lofty thought though, it seems that that not much is really shifting

 

if nothing was shifting we wouldn't be having this conversation

 

So you think it is shifting, or it's not?

 

it definitely is, at some point the awareness is too strong for the ego-driven contracts to maintain

 

I think the move to the right that we are seeing in politics is very concerning

 

I'm afraid that a liberal few (relatively speaking) are experiencing a change, but on the whole it is still extremely tough to be a woman, a person of colour, or part of any minority

 

and I think that the power structures we spoke of earlier are doing everything in their power to keep it that way

 

naturally, everyone wants to survive, and those ego-drive have a need to be right, even when the inverse is obvious.

 

let me ask you something a bit off topic

 

what do you think happens when we die?

 

I'm an atheist.  I don't think anything happens

 

I think this is it (life that is)