What is the current that presents a behaved waist
“What is the current that makes machinery, that makes it crackle, what is the current that presents a long line and a necessary waist. What is this current.”
– Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons
What is the current that presents a behaved waist is the second solo exhibition of Singaporean artist Stephanie Jane Burt. Adapted from Gertrude Stein’s poetry, the title prefaces a shared inquiry into the very conditions that enable specific ways of looking and behaving to surface. What is this current, Stein asks without a question mark, suggesting a question that has not yet sought its resolution. Burt takes up this similar question, considering the very currents that prescribe images of ideal womanhood and how these scripts can be refracted and divested of power. The exhibition continues her interest and engagement with film and fiction and considers the key but often eclipsed character of Judy at the heart of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo who becomes a shadow to the fictitious ideal of Madeleine. Burt envisions the gallery as a mise-en-scène that stages a parallel fiction where Judy’s interiority can be contemplated and complicated. Through a material language that plays with the integration and disintegration of various materials such as metal, wire, ribbon, and lace, Burt choreographs how the unyielding costume of Madeleine that Judy wears can be made vulnerable, yielding to other possibilities of becoming.
Stephanie Jane Burt is an artist whose practice spans from sculptural installations to fictional prose. She completed her studies at Glasgow School of Art, where she received her Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Painting and her Master of Fine Arts.Her work invites the viewer to explore dialogues between her installations and their settings through a fictional narrative at times referencing film and literature. Her research looks across feminism, gender, an analysis of girl culture and the nouveau roman. She recently completed a residency at ISCP New York in 2019 and has started a research project, A Stubborn Bloom, which explores representations of femininity within fashion, film and material culture.
Stephanie Jane Burt
Cushion, ribbon, lace, and acrylic on canvas.
23.9cm (H) x 18cm (W)