• 347

Hopeful monster

If you give a life form a physical quality which expresses your anxiety and fear in daily life, what does it look like ? Fear has an ephemeral, intangible quality, and while it remains so, it is difficult to face, to abstract, and ultimately to overcome. So the Japanese people developed a way of representing their fears as personified monsters - the Yokai. I have modernized the Yokai theme, creating an inflatable Yokai costume, which represents women’s contemporary fears, and which forms the basis of an immersive performance. As a woman of this demographic, anxiety around sexual identity, fertility and women’s role in society, has directly affected me and inspired this project.
The form of my Yokai was based on that derived from the Greek story of the woman who had been turned into an insect by Zeus. That to me, expresses the difficult position of modern women. Inspiration also came from Cyborg Manifesto (1990) by Donna Haraway, “Our time, a mythic time, we are all chimeras, theorized and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism; in short, we are cyborgs.”