Dora and Maja

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Dora Budor and Maja Cule

Work from Bodysurfing @ Stadium.

“In the age of self-design where everyone is constantly producing an image of themselves for the reception of a global audience, D+M have fully embraced this reality by employing strategic brand campaign tactics as their primary mode of production. For Bodysurfing the duo have taken this one step further by appropriating everything from the aesthetic tenets of a Hollister ad campaign to the performative social and environmental elements of a retail store. Altering the traditional exhibition space into one of a theatrical retail display, D+M complicate the preexisting expectations of an artwork’s presentation in exchange for the simulation of auratic desire more palpable to an everyday group of shoppers.

If for Benjamin the reproduction of an artwork denigrated its auratic potential, our contemporary consumptive experiences now dictate that aura has transitioned itself into an environment based, theatrical contextualization of any given object without concern for scarcity. Treating the exhibition space as a theater, D+M employ the sensorial tactics of a mall chain store to provoke an ethereal context for the display of a new sculpture series. In their reproduction of this lusty, fantastical environment, D+M question how we perceive value and create psychological relationships to objects.

Pseudohistories are imbued in Bodysurfing’s sculptural elements through a display of videos that present a behind the scenes look at the production of each sculpture by shirtless male models that look much like one might find working as a greeter at a Hollister location. Loosely directed off camera by D+M, the models dress their products with the manly trope of an industrial power tool, but at the same time reveal their innocence, aspirational sincerity, insecurity and imperfection as they respond to the directorial cues. Often asking the models to simply act the way they expect a Hollister or A&F model might, the models are given agency to interpret the request however they see most effective.

Through this collaboration D+M attempt to locate what gives this enacted trope its strength and circulate its formative elements into a concentrated narrative of a collective interpretation. The result of which can be thought of as a proposed new store in the ever growing A&F/Hollister franchise, a concept showroom, or a new reactive brand altogether.” – Stadium

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