LACED is a publication I designed, photographed, illustrated and hand bound to house a dissertation on the topic of objects (particularly, corsets) and how they were used to brandish patriarchal idealism onto oppressed individuals. For a long time, corsets were used by women to achieve the "perfect" figure (or, what men at the time had determined to be the most attractive figure via artistic portraiture and religious artifacts). Unfortunately, the corsets manufactured at the time were incredibly crippling and would eventually wear down the bodies, particularly the ribs and spines of women who would wear them.
Interestingly enough, during the Feminist Art Revolution (which reared its head at the end of the 1970's and during the second wave of political feminism) many women and members of certain subcultures, such as drag queens, transvestites and performers began to take back the corset and use it to empower, as opposed to oppress. Taking sexuality and freedom into their own hands and defining it based on the individual, LACED, traces the corset from it's early historical implications to it's rebrand in the 1900's as a symbol of sexual liberty.
Due to the nature of the essay, I felt that the designed publication should reflect the subject matter as intricately as possible. The decision to create a book that needed to be unlaced (and later re-laced) to be read and interacted with was meant to pay homage to the painstaking time and effort that goes into donning a corset. By weaving together the two objects (book and corset) I propose that the viewer engage ever more deeply with the text, using sensory clues to aid in the dissection of the text.
The earliest corsets were commonly made from leather so the book has been bound in red leather (actually faux leather, because I am a massive advocate of environmental responsibility and I try actively to distance myself from the leather industry). All of the photographs were taken in Hackney, London. A massive thank you to Tallulah Maskell-Key, Angelina Villareal, and my sweet neighbor George, who had absolutely no idea what we has getting into when I begged him to put on a corset.