Ya Tienen Asiento after Goya

2004 - 2005

This project is inspired by Goya’s Los Caprichos, in particular plate 26 (They Already Have a Seat). In this image, two young women have chairs balanced precariously on their heads and wear veils that cover their bodies down to their thighs. Their legs are bare. Behind them shadowy figures snigger and point. This image, in the context of the Caprichos series, is clearly a censure of what is perceived as the frivolity and foolishness of these young women. The title, inscribed at the bottom of the original print, has been interrupted to mean that the young women are judgmental and too quick to make up their minds.

There is a tension in this project between Goya’s criticism of these women and my desire to subvert this criticism. In my project, I have made three elaborate garments that involve a harness under each “skirt” to attach the chair to the head. I have then literalized Goya’s image by producing a carefully constructed photograph that recreates the original image. Each recreation is one side of a diptych, where the facing image explores the central standing figure from the original image in a new context. This new scene allows for a celebration and empowerment of the female figure while still appropriating Goya’s original ludicrous costuming. The three garments are shown along with the photographic diptychs in a formal architectural environment complete with hand painted wallpaper and ornate moldings.

Exhibition Venue:

EVO Gallery, April 2005, Santa Fe, New Mexico