Enjoy your read but be prepared for a twist at the end! It is just like a shift at work, you start out one way yet your beginning doesn’t indicate where you will end. … Shall we begin?
We build our lives based on presumptions we never knew we learned. Those presumptions are picked up along the way of life and are embedded in the doctrine we are taught. Once learned these presumptions live under our skin and light up our eyes with thoughts we may never understand. These presumptions, as long as we feel safe, breathe quietly in our very bodies.These presumptions stop living quietly under our skin and begin to balk and argue when they are threatened. Once they are threatened they bubble up to the surface in some manner. This bubbling may be a metaphorical bug bite that itches and bothers but is of no real concern in the grand scheme of life. This bubbling balk could also be found in that very real experience of unreal things unveiled in nightmares. The bubbling argument of threatened presumptions may even be a butterfly of a flutter skittering around inside our bellies when one of our deep dark secrets threatens to be discovered.
Each of these reactions is the internal dialogue that happens when our sense of order collides with our presumptions.These mannequins beg a presumptive question be asked. They ask us to inquire why so many white bodies bearing two arms, two legs, ten fingers, and ten toes exist? These congregating mannequins speak about being unnoticed when dressed in the aisles of the now bankrupt corporation called Sears. They previously existed dressed, and unnoticed, as they dotted the aisles of their iconic department store. Their very dispersal meant what was underneath their dressings may have been invisible to the numbers shopping for the latest fashion, or digging for the best deal. While people shopped these mannequins hid our very own learned beliefs. What was hidden was also stored in their plastic bodies.
Only once they were stripped and gathered could they show us what we bought while we shopped in their very department store.Liquidate the store, strip those presumptions, and take off what dressed up our shopping experience. Only then could the mannequins speak with a strong voice. What do they say? Do they speak of what is perfect? Do they speak of something more troubling? Does their white shine still house something desirable, such as that six-pack of abs? Their voice is in the now defunct SEARS as the assets are liquidated.
The last rebranding of SEARS included the acronym “WTS” (What The Sears). It was a poor play on the WTF acronym which stands for “what the fuck”. WTS now appears poetic as those “perfect white bodies” huddle waiting to be bought for a steal. Conceptually this is a cold start to a physically frigid January 2018.
Sears is liquidating and the local store has a hand written sign taped to the entrance. The sign says “8 days till closing!”, noticeably punctuated with excitement. That excitement is designed to beckon the deal seekers and sell the remains of the inventory. Past that punctuated sign, and a few hundred paces in, these mannequins huddle. In that huddle they can no longer hide their representation of the human form. They are “perfect” and it is as if the 1955 classic “The Chrysalids” is real, still speaking unspoken presumptions.
January 2018 is the timestamp on these photos. Timestamped or not the Graytuft website has expectations embedded in the tagline “finding fog, documenting beauty”. These huddled mannequins certainly speak of “fog” yet they do not speak of beauty. Their “fog” begins with shiny white skin, yet what it says goes oh so much further. The mannequins were all slim. They were comprised with two arms, two legs, ten fingers and ten toes. They were white. They echoed the ideal human described in John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids.
Beauty seemed to need a chariot to make website publication. That chariot was discovered a few days later stuck to a car door. The car was parked in a premium location. The painted pavement on which it was parked was covered with the slush and salted grime of a robust winter. That car housed a vinyl sticker commenting about pink princesses, thrones, and chariots. It was delivered with eloquence, cloaked in humour.JT Murphy ending the shift different than the start. Till next we read again.