April Dauscha toys with subtle extremisms through her use of lace. Existing somewhere between performance art and fashion design, she wraps her tongue, her hands, and covers her eyes in various ways, half concealed beneath the delicately woven fabric. She makes tongue slips and singular gloves that she can put on, slowly, for the camera.
Some of the documentation is done through photographs, although there are also short videos which feature Dauscha, up close, putting things on her tongue. In this instance the work is quite phallic; sliding her tongue into the lace wrapping easily reminds one of a penis coming into contact with a condom. This wrapping, veiling, covering of the mouth in this particular manner seems an easy metaphor to an obstruction of either speech or individuality. She enters the fabric and is simultaneously entering an illusion, a changed version of herself. Neither fully obscured yet not limitless as before, her tongue is then partially concealed but operable. In yet another video she binds her tongue with a long piece of string, circling it around the tongue tightly, like a corset. Then she pulls the entire thing off. Dauscha attaches a lot of meaning to these pieces and movements:
“My making focuses on feminine objects and materials. Lace, veils, undergarments and hair adornment speak not only of womanhood, but also of the duality of human nature. Lace speaks of purity and sexuality, it reveals and conceals, it is humble, yet gluttonous in its ornamental overindulgence; lace is the ultimate dichotomy. I use it as a potent symbol to represent the duality of body and soul, right and wrong, good and evil. Historically, neglected, disheveled and unbound hair was a sign of mourning and penance, a physical representation of one’s sin and sorrow. In my work, hair comes to represent an uncomfortable binding of one’s self to one’s alter ego, while helping to
serve as an act of penance and mortification.”
(Excerpt from Source)