Joni Van Bockel
The body is often seen as merely a vehicle or vessel for personhood, this view can often be exaggerated to the point of destruction. In my work I aim to address this dichotomy within the portrayal of the body, especially that of the female, both lovely and soft, yet still disdained and torn apart. I use textile processes in many of my sculptures both because this medium is traditionally attributed to the housewife and mother and because cloth is a symbol for carnal bodies as it acts as an alternative skin. The colors and shapes I employ in my most recent work evoke imagery that is floral, feminine, and soft while also resembling the carnal, rotting meat, and flesh. Growing up in a home steeped in conservative religion, I had been taught that the physical experience was to be denied in order to attain the spiritual. My work acts as a satirical response to this belief by creating pieces that are void of that spiritual presence or recognizable identity and leaving the flesh to hang, drip, and portray the abject. Julia Kristeva, the French philosopher most noted for her work on the abject describes abject as "aspects of the body that are deemed impure or inappropriate for public display or discussion." In my works I aim to bring in brief glimpses of carnality subtracted of any identity, as empty shells of flesh.