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Mixed Media Installation '3D Immersion'
& Sculptures

Authenticity is sought and questioned, constantly throughout the world, human nature demands that we question the world around us. So, in our world today, this flaw can be easily exploited, leaving us to question our experiences and emotions. To test whether they are truly authentic or not. Maddock focuses solely on an experience which made her question what she thought and knew as opposed to what she saw. During a trip to Lao (East Asia), where there are several tourist attractions and package deals which 'supposedly' take you to authentic places and a true experience of the 'real Lao culture'. She explores John Urry’s theory of ''The Tourist Gaze''- the idea that tourism is based upon people seeking new experiences and the real way of living, which is opposite to their own, to provide an escape from their normal lives. He also states that many cultures have adapted and taken on the 'gaze' to their own advantage. For example, by employing workers to act and often to create scenarios entirely distinct from any genuine cultural symbols. These deceptions try to masquerade amongst the authentic examples of the culture that the tourist has travelled to see. This piece of research perfectly supports this project, based solely around this 'fake' authentic Lao village. The village resembles a genuine village with numerous people employed and paid very small amounts to live or sit within the village and be subjected to the 'gaze' of the tourists. Tourist take photos of; and with them and are completely taken in by this way of life which is radically different from their own. Often, they don't come realise it's all staged and that they are actually experiencing nothing more than a human zoo. Maddock moves to recreate this experience in her artwork producing ‘3D Immersion’. Combining elements of both sculpture, colour and figurative work and previous experimentations, a series of 16 mini figure sculptures were produced. Each sculpture is based around imagery collected from lao; the positioning has each been previously observed before creating. The series started with a reasonably realistic clay figure getting progressively more abstract, slowly dehumanising the figures. Coating them in colours, first drips, as if they are drowning in their 'culture' and then later, more of a mixing and layering effect was employed to produce some varying works and coloured glazes. This use of colour intrigues the viewer, into this idea that the works are child-like and innocent, however they also have this sinister element, providing an awareness of a dark undertones within the piece. With the given context of what the sculptures represent the work becomes less child friendly and reality dawns upon the audience, enforcing an undeniable sense of guilt and sadness over their involvement of the treatment of these people. The sculptures were then displayed upon cable reels and placed within '3D Immersion'. An enclosed space of colour and sound. Textured paper covers the walls and ceiling finishing with patterned curtains to close off the area. Upon walking in the audience is greeted with this singular stand of sculptures whilst being fully surrounded by this overbearing colourful textural paper installation. They are also hit by audio collected in Lao of music, a key element to traditional village life. The audience will unknowingly take up the role of the tourist and gaze at the figures as if they are real, as if they are the authentic people sitting in the village in Lao. The sculptures are the people and are subjected to the gaze of the audience as they live the experience of what indigenous Lao life is genuinely like. However, it is not real. They are not in Asia. It is of course, an inauthentic situation to which they may not be aware.


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