Self-described “multi-media artist” and “sculptress,” Sindy Butz likes to “initiate discourses between fashion designers, scientists, technologist[s] and artists to conceptualize new possible collaborations within the art; science and business world.” And initiate she does.
Butz doesn’t blur the line between art and fashion; she erases it entirely and installs in its place objects that entice the imagination and challenge both our understanding of beauty and our definition of “art.”
Her collection of “wearable sculptures” would make even the Gagaest of fashion/art envelope-pushers take a second look. Showcasing elements of fantasy, violence and femininity, these pieces have two lives: the experience they present as stand-alone creations, and the life they lead when worn.
Large, white ceramic wings and a red glass “stomach” come to life when they are worn, adding energy and fun to simple shapes that might otherwise just be viewed as inanimate, separate sculptures. Butz recasts the sculpture genre and challenges it to be more than just a still, sterile experience of an object – her sculptures are alive, and she bids us to enter that “discourse” with her in a conversation of how to define not only sculpture, but art itself.
Most impressive is her piece “Bonnie und Kleid” (Bonny and Clyde), a ceramic, metal, fabric and glass confection in the form of a suspended, corseted dress, adorned with guns and ribbons. If one reads into its metaphor, the dress is potentially destructive to both the wearer and the observer, and it seems an apt commentary on the feminine shape, showcasing the beautiful and the deadly all in one shot.
As she continues a re-envisioning of our relationship to clothing, to art, and to the increasingly bright grayscale between the two, Sindy Butz demands our interaction with her art, and though perhaps not an outfit you may put on for your night out on the town, if it is left to this artist, that soon may be changing. That is, if you want to be art, not just make it. Or read about it.
© W. Laurie Ewer