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Tender/ 2005
A woman who doesn’t speak because her mouth is covered by a flower... What is expected from a woman?
What do we (women) assume that is expected from us?
What is “femininity“? Are we under the pressure of social compliance or is it our own beliefs?
Project “Tender“ has 3 parts
1 Teeth protector- gags
2 Digital self-portrait
3 A text written by light >Tender

It was a summer afternoon and I was wondering around in a huge building full of people, looking for someone. I didn‘t finde him. Instead, I met her. Her name was Zwenga. She was from India and for some reason she wept with sorrow over my destiny. She was talking and at the same time she was constantly drying her tears. Her face was covered with a big laminated mask. It was a face of a little girl with wide eyes that kept on pouring out streams of glass pearls like curtains of tears. When she calmed down a bit, she put the silly mask away and revealed her real face – she was strikingly beautiful. It was breathtaking! Her long black hair was framing her harmonic soft featured face with wide almond eyes. There was a special calmness coming out of her. The one that only Indian girls have. Her beautiful brown eyes were not looking at me, but a little bit aside. She was just sitting there motionless… She looked fatalistic, almost resigned… Her face was decorated with a very interesting piece of jewellery. Little cloud of tiny blue flowers, that was kind of levitating in front of her mouth. Her face carried no mistakes. She was perfect! But than she put her piece of jewellery aside and suddenly something terrible happened! Just as if by a wave of a magic wand did the beautiful young girl look almost like an ugly man! Her face was suddenly distorted – crazy expression in her face, bad skin, flat wide nose, swollen lips and puffed eyes. And the horror of horrors! On a top of the left corner of her before so beautiful lips she had a long whisker. And she didn‘t straight away know which side to comb it to… If she wanted to put it in the plait with all her other hair she coul have done. That‘s how long it was. I couldn‘t believe it was the same person as a little while ago. I was shocked! Meeting beautiful-ugly Zwenga has completly confused me. It took me some time to recover. I didn‘t understand where did her charm and gentle womanliness go? I have only realized retrospectively that in neither of her appearances I wasn‘t capable to pay attention to what she wanted to tell me. At first she was dispercing me by a mask of a tearful child, than by her beauty and in the end she shocked me by her fury ugliness. I must of made her really angry, as she didn‘t hesitate to give up her benefits and resorted to angriness that exploded like a volcano and buried all that was amazing me about her until that. Thinking about it, I am not even surprised she did. It‘s shameful when a man is projecting his imagination of gorgeous perfect beauty into a woman without taking her seriously as an able physical individual human being with her own structure of sense. But what is even worse is to realize that I, even though a woman am trapped in the collective dream of femininity. Dream, that is defining us as bearers of „female“ sensitivity, irrationality, softness and weakness – which are of cause more prognostications of feminini side as man see it than a characteristics of women. Unfortunately in our culture, we (man and women) got used to live our inside soles through other people. Our world is strictly divided in to little states and countries and also into the world of man and woman. Believe in separation is so strong, that it makes people divided in their soles. Men are killing everything „female“ inside them and women are striding to reach the ideal of hundred percent „femaleness“. This is forbiding us living the destiny of our personalities inside us. With the insides teared apart we are driven by unknown desire to find ourselves. We are looking for the inside truth where it can‘t be found – in our surroundings – in other people. That leads to never-ending hunt after delusion… We women are complicating the situation by unresponsive approach to our selves. How can we expect equal acceptance of female principal, if we don‘t appreciate our own inscape. Even though lot of women are intending to fight against the fact, that we are constantly being imputed the role of housewife, governess or maid. However hardly any woman complain when they became the canvas where their man is projecting his dreamed of ideal. Women in our culture are not taught to be human beings. They are thought to be a mirror that flushes mans imagination. This way they take upon the burden of his unlived personalities… When that happens, we sacrifice our individuality to our lust for love. All we get though is only volatile illusion of love aberrance and ever repeating disenchantment and feeling of disappointment. The very same thing that is hiding behind the mask of man and has to be uncovered therefore doesn‘thave much common with our inside truthfulness. It is not possible to live through another person. Everyone has their own world, their own reasons for existence. It is up to us to find our selves, to realize our own human dimension, which can be sometimes hidden behinde our beauty in front of our very selves. High is the price we got used to pay for a bit of tenderness. Plenty there is of costumes that we got used to dress our selves in to be accepted. Once we are cute little girls, next we are humble and sweet and when none of these works we become a termagant…
Tender/ 2005
Foto: Vladimíra Šturmová