noun \ˈfe-tish also ˈfē-\
: a strong and unusual need or desire for something
: a need or desire for an object, body part, or activity for sexual excitement
: an object that is believed to have magical powers
I was talking to my friend and she mentioned that many of my mandalas and ideas for future works are somehow based in fetishes. Yes, it's true. I agree. Part of the process for me as an artist involves a lot of thinking and considering the WHY behind the work. Sometimes it can get in the way of the actual making-- often the work has a mind of it's own and you can only see it's meaning after it's complete.
In regards to fetish (which is often erroneously used in only a sexual sense), the definition sheds some light on the work for me. A "strong and unusual need or desire for something"- yes. This is part of the paradox for me in using man-made objects in my work. For me, the mandalas are about bringing a spiritual aspect to consumerism, acquisition, and the constant state of wanting--more, more, more. I've been fascinated with "stuff" for years. How we covet it, how much we want, why we want it, and how much we produce! I have a love/hate relationship with things- many times in my life I've moved (I think around 25 times) and have either had to pack everything up, or sell it, or some combo. Once I actually reduced all of my belongings to 6 boxes. How freeing! But then, I accumulate again! At the same time, I love design and beautiful objects and see their wonderful purposefulness in our lives. Fetish, though, may be a bit different, I suppose. It's a strong and unusual need or desire for something. How strong, I guess, is the question. I still think it relates somehow.
The other part of this definition I relate to my work is "an object that is believed to have magical powers". As a little girl, I had a collection of rag dolls that were completely REAL. I'm sure many girls did this, but I kept up this belief for a bit longer than many of my friends. I called them my "kids". They each had specific personalities and I took my little rag doll family very seriously. In fact, I still have Selina and Joy up in Nolan's closet, despite their torn limbs and tattered faces. They still have magical powers up there, I know it! When I took my first photography class in college, I photographed a lot of objects and my professor made the comment that I portrayed these objects as if they had life. I still give meaning to some special things around my house- I mean, everything has an energy of some sort. Everything is connected an everything matters, to some extent. Doesn't it?
Why am I blogging about this stuff? Because, why not? It's part of the process. And I want to share it.
Tell me about your relationship to material objects. Do you covet or abhor? Or both? Does anything you own have magical powers?