Review of Work by Isaac Azzopardi

Lara’s work is a mish-mash of sex, a self denied feminism and a take on male domination on society.

I find her work interesting because of its subject, and what she wants to achieve. The issue which Lara is tackling, in more technical terms is the objectification of women in our society, and pursues this, particularly in the ‘Disturbed’ photograph series and the ‘Male Gaze’ drawings. I find both series of work appealing to the issue she concerns herself with, as well, because such subjects are seen as taboo in Malta, and her work could help breach such taboos.

From an artistic perspective, I believe Lara is very skilled in the technical aspect of work. This is evident from the work that can be seen on her website. I find her drawing of a very superior level, and also think she has strong potential in filming and developing performances. What I would like to see more of is a deliberate exploration of the themes she tackles – I am referring especially to her interest in the objectification of women. I would enjoy seeing a collection of studies\research, related to the subject, which, without being thought of as a ‘final product’, could help with generating ideas and better able her to expand on the given work. I would also see this issue being tackled through interactive installation art. This would obviously be problematic in Malta, but should be tried nonetheless.

Another work I have enjoyed is the Monstrous Performance film. The undulating and shifting mask that she plays around with over her face, is an idea with potential. I find it very interesting, especially when coupled with her themes of sex, objectification, bodies, etc. I imagine it a full performance. This is also reflected in the new work for the final piece, the Confessional Booth, to be exhibited as part of her thesis.

Her body of work includes a series of drawings, self portraits, twisted and grotesque, which are reminiscent of her Monstrous Performance clip.  I find it a pity that she could not produce the work to its utmost with all the explicit material as intended, due to the school policies and rules. I would love to see this work exhibited in public, without any restrictions, except for the provocations and scandals it would obviously produce in a public audience, which would be why it would prove more genuine to what Lara wants to achieve.
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Body of work

For this body of work, I was particularly interested in questioning gender and sexuality. I use my work as a means of expressing struggle, to question the nature of social structures and an individuals place within these structures. All works were done using charcoal pencils, sticks and paper blenders.

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You can also check out the rest on my work @ http://www.behance.net/laramanara

Food for thought

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Ed Fox, Untitled (Belladonna Clips), 2003

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Artist Statement

Working with various photographic and presentation methods, such as film and installation, I take a critical view on social and cultural issues. My current projects have focused on deconstructing gender issues, attempting to bring my personal experiences into consciousness and battling towards women’s subject hood.

I attempt to make reference to the male gaze and how this affects women’s mental health and position in society. The booth loosely reflects the moral shame in Maltese culture due to the long-standing teachings provided by the Church, conveying the idea of a secret being kept for too long. The nature of my work often depends upon the space in which it is viewed, where I try to include the viewer as a central element. I attempt to bring into question their role as spectator, subject, or performer.

 

Progress on Dissertation Project

The confessional booth is coming along nicely 🙂

Got a lot of work done these past few days so I’m satisfied.

Here are some photos which document the process of constructing the booth.

Cut most of the wood

Cut most of the wood

Tools and stuff

Tools and stuff

Wood Glue

Wood Glue

Construction of Skeleton

Construction of Skeleton

Construction of Skeleton

Construction of Skeleton

Skeleton done

Skeleton done

Shaping the Edges

Shaping the Edges

Cutting the designs

Cutting the designs

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Curving the edges

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Close Up

Detail- Top of Booth

Detail- Top of Booth

Detail- Top of Booth

Detail- Top of Booth

Detail of Design

Detail of Design

Attached booth to the base

Attached booth to the base

Attached Middle Arch

Attached Middle

Polyfiller, water and brown pigment

Polyfiller, water and brown pigment

Filling up cracks, veins and holes with polyfiller

Filling up cracks, veins and holes with polyfiller