High low, ink on paper, 75.5 x 55 cm
The rubbing off of traits onto individuals is the focal point of my approach to the work. Specifically that of power. An aspect which I perceive to be non-existent, with great capability of influence on people who perceive its existence as quite substantial. The pieces depict an individual at different stages of life, sitting on a particular chair at each stage.
The piece “Low high” is the starting point where an individual is at the bottom of the “food chain” in the human trafficking and slavery scene. One is the individual being trafficked and enslaved. Like a child, the individual is at a position of low power, thus the individual sitting on a highchair. Considering the fact that our body language as humans shapes out what and who we are, the person shows it via contractive low power poses dominating an expansive high power pose at the torso. With time in the human trafficking and slavery scene, the oppressed grows into the oppressor once oppressive traits are rubbed off on to them. Thus the second piece “Low high” having the same individual with more dominant expansive power poses compared to the contractive low power pose at the torso. With time, the graduation to a higher rank in the scene earns the oppressor a larger less constricting seat. One of two seats depicted simply with lines thus lacking form, to show the aspect of power being a non-existent entity. This is because the individual’s choice on the transference of the oppressive traits either shapes out a highchair for another individual (maintaining the cycle) or breaks the chain of events (ending the cycle.) The very power of choice lies in the individual in the highchair. One can either walk away from the oppression, or stick around to see oneself transfer oppression to another individual.