2019, Fake hair and ribbon
Following her first engagement with Sculpture on the Edge in 2018 (Pääskyt 2), performance artist Fiona Bryant returns with new work Pan-Obscene developed in collaboration with Rose Lawson. Pan-Obscene is a meditation upon the continued and mostly undisclosed practice of testing beauty products on animals by multi-million-dollar companies such as Pantene. Commercials for these products ironically feature fluffy puppies, dimpled babies and smiling women washing their hair in slow motion in combination with pastel colors and cutesy soundtracks in order to inspire us with trust, and a 'warm and cozy' feeling. But sadly, the reality is anything but cozy for the millions of animals — including rabbits, cats, dogs and mice — who are burned, poisoned and killed in painful and unnecessary experiments in order to test products.
Animal testing feels so outdated and cruel that many people are surprised to learn that lots of the big-name products on our supermarket shelves and in our department store cosmetic counters are still being tested on animals. Society needs to be awakened to the harsh reality of what is really going on. We need to educate that much of this seemingly outdated practice continues because of local laws in importing countries (such as China) that require all beauty products to be tested on animals before they are allowed to be sold in that country. So, while some companies and brands may state they don't support animal testing, they choose to sell their products in countries that do require animal testing.
The wrapping of artificial hair around a tree, coupled with the sitting sessions shared by Bryant and Lawson while attached to the hair (via a wig) speaks of these issues coupled with the pressure placed on women to purchase these products in order to look ‘beautiful.’ Lawson has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair and lives a life that challenges the societal norms, including the image of beauty. Most recently she danced in a collaboration with Bryant in the premier of a new work There’s Something in My Shoes (Anywhere Festival 2019), proving that one doesn’t need to be in a fully working body in order to dance a perform professionally.
Sculpture on the Edge 2019
Fiona Bryant (Concept and performance), Rose Lawson (Concept and Performance), Noah Luby (Photos), Chloe Horder (Videography)