The Boudoir Laboratory is a hazardous, throbbing residue of activity. Resisting classification, The Boudoir Laboratory is neither a performative installation, a sculptural assemblage or a non-human wake, but rather an intimate yet detached visceral ‘residue’ that alludes to or hints towards the activation of a ‘prior’ non-human/non-being activity that obstructs the linears of time and place.
An ode to Kenneth Anger’s 1950 Rabbit Moon, Marc de Camille’s 1970 Celebration? Realife and Jason Rhoades’ 1999 Perfect World, The Boudoir Laboratory is an externalised horror of the living reality of the moment. Heavily informed by Jacques Derrida’s 'Specters of Marx', in particular, the neologism of Hauntology as well as Nele Wynants 'When Fact Is Fiction: Documentary Art in the Post-Truth Era', ‘human’ projected psychologies, colonial mythologies and oceanic-gothic aesthetics (such as that of anxiety, fantasy, isolation and fear) are displaced, interrogated and re-fleshed within the installation to allude to our current ecological crisis. Manipulating, assembling, abandoning and neglecting botanicals, objects and things seem to have become the bread and butter to paradoxically forming, shaping, fusing and separating seductive, romantic anthropological binaries that have forged the floodgates between the ‘human,’ ‘non-human’ and ‘non-being’ world.
The installation aims to explore how the employment and rejection of projected Oceanic-Gothic aesthetics and themes will not only fracture and dismantle the boundaries between reality and fantasy, fiction and nonfiction, play and depression, but diffuse the very anthropological, essentialist binaries that have continued to nourish the privileged and exploit the vulnerable. However, in order to encourage the employment of non-dualist, emancipatory thought that ultimately releases a ‘being’ or ‘non-being’ from inflicted performative displacements, one must simultaneously engage in and neglect these performative notions in order to create a differing ‘third course.’
The Boudoir Laboratory
Tripods, fairylights, trolley, striplights, ribbon, foam apples, pool salt, fabric, crystals, foam, wine, tarot cards, mirror, shells, wood, plastic, dried flowers, burnt tarot poems, soap, plastic tubing, clay, sequins, wool, cinnamon, tea strainer, cord, wire, resin
Photography by Adam O'Sullivan
Monash University Honours Graduate Show & Stephenson's home attic