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TEXERE's Art Gallery - Works by Marianne Puschner

Beauty Uniform - Uniform Beauty

In my work I focus on the global problem of cosmetic operations and the ideal of beauty which seems to have become the same all over the world. A whole-body uniform is the result, a kind of skin garment.

I use wool as part of the skin. The wool has been felted onto a shop window mannequin. When removed from the doll the felt forms a hollow shell of grey skin that is stiff like a corset.
This grey uniform was embroidered with red cross-stitches and I felted them in. The embroidery is on the parts of the body which are often operated for aesthetic reasons (eyes, nose, breast, vagina, etc.….). In former days the embroidery was an embellishment of the traditional costume, so now it is under the skin. The use of the crossstitches emphasizes the fact that the skin is sewn after operations. It reminds us of the pain arising from it.
The former corset is now inside the body. The back, arms and legs laced together point to this fact and remind you of the stripes of a uniform. The color red stands for blood (life and death). Like the whole-body uniform it points to the problem of the performance of our body: On the one side all seems to be feasible: we are free to design our body. On the other side there is our dependence on the ideal of beauty and economic factors.

(The work was shown on the 4th Riga International Triennial of Textile and Fibre Art "Tradition & Innovation" in Latvia. August 2010)

It Lingers On

I took my inspiration from my childhood. I chose things that were important for me and describe a little about my home, where I felt well.

"The to and fro of the knitting machine breaks the silence as my mother knits our winter pullovers. The wooden handle of the milk churn hits the enamel as I put it down on my daily journey to the farmer. My little finger penetrates into the thick cream topping and I lick the delicious white with indulgence and a secret feeling of joy rises in me.
The wood of the shoe lasts clatter against each other, in all different sizes. Amazed I stand in front of the gigantic lasts for big men’s shoes…. That such big feet exist! When papa makes new shoes he measures and makes clear contours of the foot, the pencil scratches the paper and tickles the edge of the foot.
The chairs are all too high, only the shoemaker's stool in papa's workshop is easy to scale.
'Mama' says my doll as I turn her from her stomach to her back. 'Mama' again and again.
My three brothers enjoy tractors like those of our neighbours. The chugging of the tractors accompany us through spring, summer, autumn and winter and the thick tires press into the quiet earth. ....
These things appear like fossils, a relic of childhood. Like a cloth that you lay on top of a body to conceal the rigor mortis, to protect the past, soft and warm, tracing its shape tenderly and affectionately."

(The works were shown at the 3rd Triennial of Textiles, Slovakia, "Without Borders" from the 29th ofJune to the 2nd of September 2012 in Trencin, Slovakia.)


© M. Puschner, TEXERE