‘By rejecting the rules suddenly and for no reason, I believe—in spite of the fear I feel—that I’m entering a world of infinite seduction.’ Those words written by Susy Gómez in the introduction to an exhibition of her work held in Athens in 1998 clearly show that she has based a good part of her artistic output on an approach that uses seduction as a means of engaging with the viewer. While studying fashion design in Barcelona, Gómez experimented with the expressive potential of fabrics, and they have become one of the materials that appear most frequently in her work. Whether in the form of curtains, sheets, cushion covers, ribbons or strips of different colours, or captured through images (enlarged photographically after being retouched), especially ones from fashion magazines, it is clear that she uses fabrics because of their sensual quality, for she sees seduction (and by extension a certain eroticism) as the driving force behind her creativity. The work we are concerned with consists of two articles of clothing created for her first solo exhibition, held at Espai 13 of the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona. The first item is a pair of linen trousers whose most surprising feature is the strips of material hanging from the legs and the way she has chosen to exhibit them. The trousers clearly suggest the impossibility of anyone revealing themselves to others as they really are. They are an article of clothing that cannot perform its intended function: to clothe a walking person. Given that this is impossible, her solution is to get rid of the trousers in as radical and evocative a way as possible. And it is precisely to leave a record of the act of throwing away these trousers (which represent a part of our persona that does not satisfy us at all) that she decides to show them as they are about to fall to the ground. Hanging from the ceiling, they are displayed in a way that reproduces the movement at the moment when someone casts them off and throws them violently into the air. There is no doubt that this piece is one of the clearest expressions of the mental striptease often mentioned by those seeking to interpret her work. The second piece is a glove made of a synthetic white fabric and designed to cover both arms. The item is hung from the ceiling by a transparent thread, so that only the part for the hands is touching the floor. The glove is a highly evocative accessory, closely linked to seduction in the context of a very specific female stereotype. In this case, the gloves clearly cannot serve the purpose they were designed for. However, unlike the other piece, as an article of clothing that can be readily identified as a woman’s glove this work invites a number of broader readings related to the power of suggestion associated with Surrealist objects and works (a subject Susy Gómez focused on in research carried out as part of her training), to a determination and desire to defend freedom, and to issues related to the situation of women.
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