Greedy are they, our hungry eyes. On the lookout for the next eye candy, the next visual pleasure.
Plastic erotic. Like in the middle of a mix between a kid’s playroom and a porn studio.
The viscous, the firm, the nubby. Consistencies kiss each other. Sometimes tenderly, sometimes rough, tense and then viscously melting again. Actors in their unique physicality, away from their original habitat: the toy and cosmetic department. Driven by the fundamental desire for the visually aesthetic experience, 70% YUM melts together digital aesthetics with analogue.
I like it.
Hand in hand goes the visual evaluation with its own ambivalence. Like in the case of dating apps: digital, public places where people swipe through snapshots of bodies, visually consume each other, evaluate on the spot, become evaluated, and staging themselves in the best possible way for this purpose.
One look at you and I can’t disguise / I’ve got hungry eyes (1)
Sociologist Eva Illouz is also interested in this, with regards to the phenomenon of contemporary dating culture. On the example of Tinder, she writes about how our consumer habits intertwine with our ideas of romantic and sexual relationships. The body, through “visualisation and sexualisation, becomes the object of a short, spontaneous look. Humans become bodies, moving bodies become still images, and the act of evaluation becomes an immediate act of judging a snapshot.” (2)
How can we talk about the body as a place of sexual consumption, about surfaces and superficiality, but also about what bubbles underneath, the intestines, so to speak?
We listen to the little anecdotes of a first-person narrator about self-dramatization, digital emotional worlds and the mundaneness of Tinder. To be seen and to be heard: two narrative strands that sometimes associatively, sometimes explicitly refer to each other.
And in between a whisper is woven. Names for colours of lipsticks, close together: lipstick poems. An excerpt: DOLL ME UP / NUDE DELIGHT / BITE MY LIP / AT FIRST SIGHT.
The ambivalence of these names between sense and absurdity, is brought to the point through Illouz’s comments: “Sexiness is the result of new ideologies of sexuality as a product form and the self as an image. Sexiness lives off consumer objects with which the sexual body is revealed and emphasized. Consumer articles and practices morph the body into a surface that is to be visually consumed and is defined by the ability to trigger sexual desire.” (3)
The space in which the audience of 70% YUM finds themselves makes the tense relationship of intimacy and acting, from private and public tangible. In one of the rooms accessible to the (university) public, behind a tall, black curtain, a mattress landscape of six single beds spreads out, with iridescent satin sheets. Once bedded on it, the canvas was floating above us.
„Balanced on my fingertips my phone hovers over my face. Another 20 and I’ll turn it off and sleep, I think, and count while my index finger swipes right to left with ease over the screen …” (4)
1: Hungry Eyes, E. Carmen, F. Previte, J. DeNicola, 1987
2, 3: Why Love Ends, Eva Illouz, 2018
4: Text excerpt, 70% YUM
70% YUM, Video-Sound-Installation, 11:30 min
Voice: Josephine Hochbruck
Sound: Janis Zeckai
Text: Jana Hofmann, Paula Thomaka, Dior, Givenchy, L’Oréal, Manhattan, Maybellin Jade
Text Editing: Cécile Kobel
Editing: Jana Hofmann mit Meret Bhend, Vanny Bosch
Scenography: Vera Gärtner mit Mathias Lempart
Supervision: Sereina Rothenberger, Michael Kryenbühl, Ivan Weiss, Rebecca Stephany