Romy Yedidia is a visual artist based in Amsterdam. Her latest project, “Preserve Me” is an architectural self portrait of Yedidia herself, that communicates her feelings as a woman in the western society.
“I’m standing straight with my arms stretched upwards, supporting the concrete ceiling. This column carries my burden of expectations being a woman in the western society. Be beautiful. Be thin, but not too thin. Be successful and driven, but caring. Be strong, but feminine. By maintaining these expectations for as long as I have known, I started to feel that I am turning into a structural material. I am supporting this stereotype. I am becoming concrete myself.
In my works, I explore the relation between architectural elements and the female body. Questions of expectations, beauty, aesthetics and how those affect women’s own perception of themselves are reoccurring subjects. I explore my observation on these subjects through materials and techniques that are usually used in an architectural context.
The installation “Preserve Me” is constructed out of 40 different casts of my own body. The process involved long casting sessions of standing still with my arms stretched up. Each unwanted movement would destroy the cast. The long duration of these sessions and the passiveness of standing still for two hours reinforced the concept of this work. I was casted in plaster, preserving my posture; solid, stretched.
This process communicates my personal feeling of being perceived as a constructive object that effortlessly holds itself up. This way I’m good enough for the outer eyes that observe me, and for the harshest eyes of all: my own.”
Photos by Romy Yedidia, Kateryna Snizhko, Natasha Oduber & Robert Glas.