Video

Free Sugar video loop 1

Maria Legault

2004, 05:28 minutes, colour, English

TAPECODE 971.05

This video is part of a broader project called Free Sugar that lasted from 2002-2006 for which the artist attempted to repair holes with pink icing and pink pudding. Free Sugar aimed to critique marketing strategies that create false problems in order to sell solutions that often make the situation worse. The project took the form of photographs, a website and performances during which the artist distributed kits to assist people in repairing the holes in their lives with pink icing, and in this case, repaired some men’s mouths with pink pudding. On one hand the piece humorously treats the mouth, a normal orifice, as a hole in need of repair. On a more disturbing level, it puts the participants in an uncomfortable position by over-stuffing their mouths to the point where they are silenced in a grotesque way. The sinister undertones of the piece become a veiled examination of the inter-personal dynamics that lead the men to consent to this treatment, and of the reasons why the artist chose to perform this abusive gesture. Although not literally depicted, the themes of sexual abuse and violence, boundaries and objectification are evoked. As are the notions of abjection and the grotesque through the emphasis on the mouth orifice and the excessive use of pink pudding.

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