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Pandora’s beauty

Posted in : Uncategorised on by : AnaÏs Jane Tsang Comments:

 

At first glance, the picture appears to be straight out of a fairy tale. It seems to be the portrait of a queen, dressed in a bewitched gown radiating a bluish light. However, when we linger over the photograph by artist Dominique Paul, displayed in Marie Saint Pierre’s Wynwood boutique, we quickly evolve from from awe to questioning.

The baroque garb that Dominique Paul happens to be wearing in the photograph is in reality made up of hundreds of recycled plastic bottles. Furthermore, the artist used a projector to superimpose a model’s features taken from a makeup advertisement unto her own face. "It doesn’t quite line up perfectly," Dominique Paul explains. "We ask ourselves, is this a case of botched surgery? This small offset brings about further reflection and it’s important to me to have this element."

Dominique Paul

Entitled Pandora, the piece aims to be a discussion on over-consumption, social inequality, and the depiction of the human body. The Quebec artist, who splits her time between Montreal and New York, regularly tackles these themes via photography and experimental video. In her opinion, taking objets thrown away by the millions, like water bottles, and making them into a spectacular outfit contributes in drawing the public’s attention to obvious issues we insist on ignoring.

"I approach fashion in a sociological manner," Dominique Paul explains. Her dresses, having more in common with sculptures rather than clothing, have names like "Overfishing", "The-Haves-and-Have-Nots" and "Increasing Revenue Gap".

Which parallel can be drawn between the artist’s powerful stance and Marie Saint Pierre’s work? "It’s the approach behind the garment," Dominique Paul says. "There is the research of materials and there is the interest in the body. Marie dresses very well bodies that don’t necessarily conform to the standards of beauty. She makes a woman elegant, she gives her power. Her approach is very contemporary."

Notions of durability and timelessness are also dear to both creators. "In 1995, I participated in an international symposium," Dominique Paul says. "I remember this German artist who was wearing an outfit that must have cost a fortune, but she wore it for the entire three weeks! It is in this regard that I purchase Marie Saint Pierre pieces. I have a dress and a coat that are ten years old and I wear them still."

Dominique paul

Dominique Paul

Dominique Paul