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Boobs at Roxy NOD

Celebrating and interrogating the breast


Posted: February 20, 2013

By Emily McDermott - For the Post | Comments (0) | Post comment

Boobs at Roxy NOD

Walter Novak

At times, members of the audience were mobilized to take part in the activities, as when coffee creamer was squirted over a volunteer, above, to recreate a moment from his infancy.

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A beige overcoat hangs from one of five upward-pointing painted plaster breasts. The breast replicas emerge from a stark white canvas that hangs on a wall opposite a poster advertising a new, delicious flavor of ice cream: boobs! The comic-book print of the poster, emblematic of Roy Lichtenstein, depicts a waffle cone filled with a perfectly smooth and rounded scoop of pink ice cream, decadently offering a nipple, rather than a cherry, on top.

Fashionably dressed 20-somethings gathered at the experimental art space Roxy NoD Friday, Feb. 15, for an evening filled with stifled laughter and intrigued gazes at the event "Boobs," during which 18 students from various art schools presented their interpretations of women's breasts. From photography and painting to fashion design, video and spoken word, each student expressed a unique perspective of the female body.

Míša Barochová's coat hanger invited viewers to "hang your breasts anywhere and use them as you wish," while Štěpán Jiránek, perhaps commenting on the universal appeal of a perfect breast, asked his audience if this was "more inviting ice cream than ever?"

Two video instillations were projected onto walls, including Markéta Junková's reaction to plastic surgery and unnatural improvements to the human body. Junková's animated video displayed fingers poking at breast-shaped Jell-O cakes, cut to pose the question "umělé?" (artificial?) and then flashed back to show the gelatin's subsequent reverberations.

Boobs
When: Art on view through Feb. 28
Where: Roxy NoD
Tickets: Free

Halfway through the night, the crowd transitioned from the bar into a larger room set up as a performance space. For English speakers, spoken-word pieces were nearly impossible to understand, albeit body language helped, particularly as one male artist passionately groped the microphone, whispered softly and stared at the piece of metal as though it were the most succulent part of the human body.

The same performer summoned an audience member to the stage, began squirting coffee creamer as makeshift breast milk and gently edged the volunteer's head closer and closer to his chest. Laughingly, the audience member succumbed to artist's direction, contorted his face, and like a child, stuck out his tongue in search of more.

The night culminated with a performance organized by NTS Trio, an avant-garde band composed of a keyboardist, double-bassist and drummer who blur the lines between jazz, classical and punk music. As the trio played, four women took individual turns dancing - topless, of course. Each woman reflected her own personal confidence level and the band adjusted the sound accordingly. One woman wore a mask, shied away from the crowd and often covered herself with her hands; another aggressively shed her bra and took full command of the stage.

For Dominika Divá, the organizer of the NTS Trio performance piece, the night was a celebration of the female body.

"It's inspiration for every girl - big or thin - to feel like she's celebrated, nice and can be happy with her body," Divá said.

The students' works of art force viewers to question the multiple roles female breasts assume: as a source of natural beauty and power, but also as the source of self-examination, judgment and marketing weaponry. Tangible pieces will be on view in the café and bar at Roxy NoD through Feb. 28.


Emily McDermott can be reached at
features@praguepost.com

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