Saturday, November 22, 2008


As a manufactured object, ties are strictly regulated. While patterns are varied, the width and length of a tie almost always remain a constant. The tie’s conventions reach beyond merely the tie to include the clothes a tie is worn with, economic class and social situations, and even have a hierarchy of tie knots, with the Double Windsor reserved for high-level meetings, the Half-Windsor as a daily executive choice, and the lowlier variations for casual business.

The ideology of ties is engrained in the business world. As the base material for an artist, ties posit a very interesting set of relations between artist and business.
Ties are objects of restrictions. They began as a royal insignia with Louis XIV, inspired by Croatian fashions, and have remained in the upper echelons of class and economic circumstances. While ties appear to have wide variety, they actually allow very little choice. Ties are in fact useless and functionless, but are considered necessary and symbols of power.

The tie-tunnel is both an object and an environment. The act of journeying through narrowing ties, and the changing context of a person first walking, then crouching and finally crawling through the ties is a shift both in physical context and in symbolic movement. I was inspired by the Buddhist stupa, which is an ideology and an architectural object. The stupa is a physical representation of a mental focusing on Buddhist values of self-awareness in the context of a world much larger and grander than oneself. The tie-tunnel takes aspects of the stupa and recontextualizes them into ironic look at the ‘religion’ of business.

The mental shift between business and art is symbolized in the tie-stupa as a physical move. While the move from art to business appears to be very easy, and the loose knots at the beginning of the stupa allow one to clearly see into the business world, it is much more difficult to enter it and the position one must assume to enter is as highly restrictive, as are ties.

The Tie-Stupa was re-installed in the Case Goods Warehouse of the Distillery District for Nuit Blanche 2008.

The Tie-Stupa was re-installed at the UC Art Lounge, 15 King's Crescent, from Dec. 2-7th 2008.

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