บรรทัดฐานการกดขี่ทางเพศที่มีอยู่ร่ำไปเป็นการรุกล้ำขอบเขตระหว่างชีวิตส่วนตัวและชีวิตการเมือง ทางเลือกเพื่อเคลื่อนไปข้างหน้า ต่อต้าน หรือแม้กระทั่งบ่ายเบี่ยงไปจากคำสั่งเหล่านี้ เกิดขึ้นพร้อมกับการตัดสิน การลิดรอนสิทธิ์ และการใช้ประโยชน์
ในบทวิจารณ์ถึงเรือนร่างสตรีเป็นการคัดค้านขอบเขตระเบียบสังคม At Least I Won’t Regret Anything สื่อถึงความทรงจำในการเดินทางของศิลปินต่ออิสรภาพในการเจริญพันธุ์
The persistence of oppressive gender norms encroaches onto lines that divide the personal from the political. Choices that move beyond, against, or even slightly awry from these mandates are often met with judgment, ostracism, and exploitation.
In sustained commentary of the female body set against the horizon of social conventions, At Least I Won’t Regret Anything is a diaristic remembrance of the artist’s recent journey towards reproductive autonomy.
AT LEAST I WON’T REGRET ANYTHING
The persistence of oppressive gender norms encroaches onto lines that divide the personal from the political. Since childhood, women have been conditioned that their bodies are not their own. It is a possession of society and institutions: from the time one’s sex is identified to one’s mundane exchanges, to one’s hopes and dreams. Choices that move beyond, against, or even slightly awry from these mandates are often met with judgment, ostracism, and exploitation.
In sustained commentary of the female body set against the horizon of social conventions, Mich Dulce’s At Least I Won’t Regret Anything is a diaristic remembrance of her recent journey towards reproductive autonomy. With these artifacts, one becomes privy to intimate details of the process in regaining control of her own fertility. She shares the empowerment felt in re-asserting the body that is hers to begin with, as well as the apprehension, unease, and insecurity that came with it.
Much of Dulce’s adult life and career that has been centered on creation with the use of needles is ironically paralleled by that tool’s importance in fulfilling her childbearing dreams, alongside the need to overcome the fear of it, as blood tests and hormone shots were required by the medical procedure. Anchoring the process to this slender piece of pointed metal and grounded on her Catholic upbringing, she begins the story by choosing to recreate the first important garment in a Catholic’s life: the baptismal gown--a feminine piece that a child, regardless of gender, is made to wear during their welcoming to the Church. Here, she integrates actual syringes used in the process of freezing her eggs. Excerpts from journal entries that document the intense triumphs, struggles, and doubts during this experience are sewn in cursive using pearls, as though accentuating a certain strength in its femininity. In the recreation of a baby mobile, these sheer robes float and balance themselves on bars above the head, a kinetic fragility that is concurrent to the workings of one’s body and mind. Enveloping the entire space, a haunting and exasperating sound, an ever-familiar nursery rhyme, plays on loop, indicating the seemingly perpetual insistence of a systemic order of how a woman’s life should be lived.
Dulce’s confessional bears its gravity in the truths about fertility and conception, where predominantly the woman alone carries its weight. Perhaps, as it is a norm and an internalized oppression, the possibility of choice is often forgotten. At Least I Won’t Regret Anything is an opportunity to engage in a much-needed conversation, a reminder: your body is yours.
Visitors are invited to take part in the installation by taking a ribbon from the cot and writing their personal sentiments on reproductive autonomy on them. After writing, please take a pin from the floor next to the cot and add this sentiment to the work by pinning it on the various hoops hung around the dresses.
Text by Iris Ferrer
British trained milliner Mich Dulce creates contemporary hats and headpieces with wholly sustainable, socially enterprising and ethical Philippine raw materials combined with traditional European millinery techniques. Following training at Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion, the Fashion Institute of Technology New York, and Ecole Lesage, Mich was named as the British Council’s 2010 International Young Fashion Entrepreneur of the Year and has since been working on her line of contemporary millinery which she showcases at London and Paris Fashion Week. Mich has worked with Marjan Pejoski, Jessica Ogden, KTZ, and most recently Maison Michel Paris.