jennymcmaster.typepad.com > The Cake Show

Introduction

While shopping for laces and ruffles to detail an earlier mixed media work I was struck by their similarity to toppings on cake. Frosting acts as a cake’s clothing, dressing it up for events both formal and informal. Many outfits, are only worn once, such as wedding gowns or first communion dresses. Angel food cakes, devil’s food cakes, birthday cakes all have different styles and associations. The only frosting job that is worn as a literal garment, however, is the cake a stripper jumps out of at a bachelor party. The cake her outerwear, she wears lingerie beneath. “She Forgot to Jump Out of the Cake” a two dimensional mixed media piece, is the seminal work in my tongue in cheek exploration of the theme of the edible woman.

“The Cake Show” continues the artistic examination of frocks and food. While other artists, like Jana Sterbak, have already made the comparison between clothing, food and flesh, I would assert, that as women’s place in society continues to evolve, we must be aware of when we are happily complicit in our sexual identities and when we are playing a mating game we feel we cannot sit out. When do we feel devoured? When do we enjoy the game of dress up and feel on equal or even higher footing? My performance set to the tune of If I'd a Known You Were Coming could be the routine of either a candy gram or an exotic dancer. The classic song is both sweet and ironic.

Fashion remains a key sociological concern in the applied arts. In societies where masks and costumes are a regular part of community ritual, clothing has a well-recognised significance. In a time and place where special garb is frequently considered “just frosting” there is often more going on than we realise in the act of donning apparel.