The VEGGsplode and EGGcellent Picture Show By Joo Choon Lin "Give yourself over to absolute pleasure of VEGGsplode. Swim the warm egg yolk of sins of the flesh - erotic nightmares beyond any measure, and sensual daydreams to treasure forever. Can’t you just see it? Don’t dream it, be EGGcellent!" --- The VEGGsplode and EGGcellent Picture Show
“VEGGsplode and Eggcellent” is a project aims to investigate the notion of shame. I am referring Egging in relation to shame. Egging is the act of throwing eggs at property or people and rotten eggs or vegetables are mostly used. Egging is an act of sorting humanity into “good” and “evil”. The person who is being egged with rotten eggs or vegetables are categorised as “bad” person and inflicted them with humiliation and shame.
Shame functions on the relation between the self and the other, between the self-conscious, emotional and social. Freud views shame as a social effect associated with being discovered or found out by another person, something bad or painful or a response to actually having caught engaging in some unusual activities. We are all social beings whose behaviour is shaped, to some extent by the roles we play in reality. We are often conditioned by a culture that wants certain things out of us.
I am also interested in investigative on the theory of shame dynamics on the behaviours of looking and being look at. The characters in “VEGGsplode and EGGcellent” look almost like an object or nearly similar a performer acting on stage, realised oneself as an object of observation for others and, through identification with the observing others, taking oneself as an object of observation. The theatrical experience in “VEGGsplode and Eggcellent” is to reflect the act of seeing and being seen; human psyche structured like a theatre. We are generally “Egged” by our superego; our conscience is responsible for rewards, punishments, and also for generating fear, shame and guilt.
We know other through our own anxieties, through our own uneasiness about what we believe others see in us. Yet our seeing and our shame are being seen establish a vital part of our sense of orientation in time and space. Shame over looking and being looked at creates conflicts and disturbance to which we react in different ways. According to Otto Fenichel’s writing, “I feel ashamed” means “I do not want to be seen” a person who feels ashamed hides themselves, or they close their eyes and refuse to look. This is a kind of magical gesture, arising from the magical belief that anyone who does not look cannot be looked at. The eye is the organ of shame par excellence. One fears of anxiety about the danger that we might be looked at with contempt for having dishonoured ourselves. The affect of contempt directed against the self- by others or by one’s own conscience. It becomes an overall character trait preventing any such disgraceful exposure or experience, an attitude of respect towards others and towards ourself, a stance of reverence- according to Goethe(1829), this attitude is called reverence for oneself. Shame is fear of disgrace, but shame is also an attitude of awe or respect about the values central to culture and to all human interaction.
Special Thanks to: Participants : Real Chia | Mdm Thiayaga | Chris Tan | A*Mei Julian Chua | Head | Community Arts & Culture Division Joanne Ye | Constituency Manger (Community Arts & Culture) Ted Chen | Photographer (Photo credit) Super Thanks: Sun Ke | For free sewing machine lending service ;P Cystal Ng | For your Hair wig donation ;P
(Click on the picture to watch the video on Vimeo)
The meat sold in supermarket does not look disgusting with its sleek packaging. But if we watch a cow being slaughter in front of us, it gains our sympathy and causes bodily reaction. However, the brutally, crudeness and violent of killing an animal are overshadowed by the packaging and the well-trimmed specialty cuts of meat.
Your Eyes Are Stupid | Singapore Biennale 2013
Mixed Media Installation
Broken Tools Series: Your Eyes Are Stupid | Duration 1:31 mins
Broken Tools Series: If we’re Going to Die, We’ll All Die Together | Duration 3 mins
Wilhelm Scream | Duration 0:48 mins
Our perception of the world is greatly influenced by culture and social conditioning. Joo Choon Lin’s investigation of this is informed by her interest in technological developments. As various technologies of representation devise new ways of capturing the likeness of things (e.g. high-definition technology), so the quality of the surfaces of these things undergoes a transformation. Consequently, ‘reality is reconfigured and the natural state of objects is modified, degenerating the subject’s essence and reflexivity. Surfaces are replaced by another sense of ‘reality’-a glossy, hyper-real world that we sometimes choose to believe in over the tangible world.
In this video and sculptural work, three videos address the idea that objects have an alter-ego nature. In the first video, the nature of a knife is altered by the movements of user. The viewer no longer recognises the knife as a tool meant for cutting, as the knife highlights previously unknown peculiarities and is reincarnated from a hard to soft material. The viewer begins to disassociate him-or himself from the familiar, socially determined function of the knife and sees a new potential for the object. The knife is freed from its former role.
The second video shows a plywood table that appears solid, but seconds later, tools are thrown into it and they slowly submerge into the plywood surface, which is now recognised as a mushy surface. The tools are a hand saw, screws, a screwdriver and a measuring tape. Once disposed into mushy surface, the presence and functionality of these tools are dislocated, akin to a body disappearing into quicksand. The viewer is prompted to think about salvaging them; it is at the verge of losing these objects that their presence and value seem the most visible.
The third video shows a piece of meat jolting out of its Styrofoam packaging as if its nerves are still intact, and it starts to make noises. Through the three videos, joo questions if objects have an independent life. Do or can they have a ‘natural’ voice once they are freed from their socially dictated purposes? Can these objects be there if we no longer need them, or do we miss them only when they are no longer available? Joo draws back from the everyday presence and original uses of these objects, to highlight the absurdity of social conditioning formed by our utilitarian habits.