Embrace (Male/Female)

Year: 2011
Technique: offset print on laminated cardboard, 17.000 pieces, variable dimensions

Embrace is a performative installation created as an inquiry on social concerns like gender binarism, and diversity acceptance and inclusion.

The concept deals with the problematic ability to normalise diversity. We live in a society where politically correctness used to prevail, reaching sometimes nauseating levels. On the other side, for the mainstream society there is still a huge discrepancy between the attempts of acceptance and the real capacity of understanding diversity. 

Embrace (male/female) is structured as an invitation to get involved into this matter, by doing a simple ritualistic exercise of inclusion versus exclusion.

The figurines composing the installation are categorised by skin related to the age stages (1-10 y.o, 11-20 y.o. ... 91-100 y.o.). Before entering the installation space, the visitors are invited to choose one of the unfolded figurines, according to their own age. The figurines can be interpreted as a hybrid form of male and female, or perhaps just as a simple embrace between a man and a woman. By folding the figurine, the visitors are then invited to place it among the others. With every figurine added to the installation, the shape of the ensemble becomes an organic form of inclusion, dictated by the visitors’ will. On the other side, the visitors are also invited to exclude themselves from the multitude of figurines, if they want to, by simply removing one of the pieces. This simple gesture of exclusion is a permitted action as well. 

If on one side, the figurines are the representation of age categories, their exterior side is mirror-like coated, in order to create a blending sensation,  once they are placed next to other figurines.