Cheap & Clean – Interrogating Masculinities

By in News on March 10, 2012

Cheap & Clean live broadcast at Popop

The project relates to an ongoing body of work that has utilized the performative, as mode for explorations of masculine ideologies that function within dancehall construct. These experiences however, were fabricated by the artist. Employing dancehall fashion, language and ‘actors’ who were instructed by the artist in various scenarios.

Caption: First shots of 14 Jamaican kids from the Cheap and Clean Masculinities Interrogation Project, having their photos taken in the pseudo photo studio, dollhouse structure. Photo taken in Jamaica by Marvin Bartley.

Given the youth driven nature of dancehall the artist is working with 14 young men and exploring their own ideas about masculinity through fashion.

Participants were asked to design outfits based on these ideas/ideals. The artist then had the outfits made and embellished, for the participants to wear and be photographed in a embellished ‘photo studio’. Posing and /or posturing as their idealized male. The ‘studio’ was based in Downtown, Kingston in Jamaica.

The photo studio space was made based on a Georgian dollhouse structure, used in reference to the both the domestic and toys. Both object and space are important ‘tools’ in understanding wider gender associations from an early age. All participants will keep their hand embellished tailored outfits along with a photograph of themselves in said outfit.

Participants were documented in both clothing and space, photographically and also in video. The recording of the project was virally projected to the following locations – Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, Bermuda, Bahamas, United States and the web via Facebook.

The project was broadcast live via Facebook on Saturday,  March 10, 2012 at 4pm at Popopstudios.

This project was funded by the 2011 Rex Nettleford Fellowship for Cultural Studies, and supported by the Multi-Care Foundation of Jamaica, a not-for-profit organization working with youth from the inner city in the Arts and Sports.

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