For the girls
|By Megan Peters|
Bra exhibit examines undergarment’s roleI never would have imagined the phrase “Over the shoulder boulder holder” could be so concrete, until I saw a pink, lacey brassiere sagging with the weight of two large rocks in the front window display of the Lansing Art Gallery.
If burning brassieres didn’t turn every head in the ‘60s, now women are hanging their intimates in storefront windows. Whether you like to wear them or not, the "ABRAcada Bra Project" exhibit challenges viewers’ ideas of what the purpose of the bra is. Designed by the members of W.H.A.T. (Women Heartfully [making] Art Together), of Grand Rapids, the exhibit was initially created as an entry in the ArtPrize art competition that took place in Grand Rapids in October.
“We started realizing how the bra has affected women’s lives in different ways, trying to make women more natural with the bra, to lift and separate, and all those different kinds of words,” said Bonnie Slayton, founder of W.H.A.T. “We decided one of our main themes for ArtPrize would be changing the bra, because the bra has been trying to change women throughout all of these years.”
Like many of the artists, Slayton toyed with puns for inspiration. Her piece titled “Car Bra” incorporates a discarded windshield wiper, a steering wheel that plays “Happy Birthday” when the horn is pressed, and a set of battery powered headlights placed you know where. The auto brassiere is meant to serve a similar function as its mammary gland counterpart. “It’s to protect the front of a car, so men can really relate to that in one way,” Slayton said. Racking their brains for more puns, artists expounded on the obvious to the subtler."Hooters,"
by Sandy Kirchinger, looks like a wardrobe piece after Madonna’s own
heart, with its explosion of multi-colored noisemakers jutting out in
all directions. Two sewn-in hands hoist the bulk of a bra titled "The
Push- Up Bra."