Soft is a sculptural installation that examines rituals of transformation, and the relationship between physicality and identity. The series focuses on the belly as a source of deep cultural and individual significance. The "belly portraits" depict real individuals, modeled from references gathered via social media. These portraits exalt a depreciated part of the body, often shrouded in shame and hid in privacy. The exhibition, with its wall hanging sculptures, video art, and functional dining installation, draws a parallel between secular and religious promises of transfiguration. I create a new form of transformation, taking photos that are given to me and creating works that deify the sender's physical form.
Collaboration with Will Geusz
The installation at the center of the gallery includes a table and functional dinnerware. The stoneware set mimics the internal organs of the torso. The table setting, and its belly-portrait- backdrop reference the last supper. The vessels become a eucharistic ritual, further emphasized in the video performance where Atkins and Geusz eat from the body. Atkins draws a parallel between wellness and religious rituals and their promise of a “new body.” The short video piece is an act of rebellion against diet culture and skinny supremacy. It also captures another transformation as the contents of the organ vessels dwindle and figures move and change throughout the course of the meal.