5 - 5
©1999 Stephanie Cunningham
Projection Size Varies
8 minute digital collage
This multimedia public projection presents corsetry, neck rings, and foot binding in the context of breast augmentation.
Disproportion addresses constructed surfaces— in this case altering one’s physical appearance at great risk to conform to a shifting cultural standard of beauty. This work presents the breast augmentation phenomena in a larger context by placing it with deformative practices that exist in other cultures and/or time-periods. Nineteenth-century corsetry, footbinding, and tribal neck-stretching are presented as deformative practices alongside breast augmentation. Each offers the goal of exceptional beauty at the expense of physical pain and, at times, life-threatening risk. Each has its roots in a social privilege that eventually grows to influence the perception of beauty in the culture as a whole.