Host Figures (They Live)

Host Figures (They Live)

Dawn Woolley [Lenticular Prints] 2019,
Installed at Leeds Arts University Blenheim Walk Gallery
Consumed: Stilled Lives exhibition 12th July – 22nd August 2019.

Host figures feature in different belief systems. In The Met Museum in New York a hollow Guatemalan figurine can be found – it was made in the 5th to 7th century and features a removable chest plate that reveals a diminutive spirit figure who drives the actions and intentions of its host.

The objects contained within Host Figures (They Live) also shape the thoughts and actions of their hosts: they are toys, sweets and social media symbols that promote neoliberal consumer ideologies and gender stereotypes. The title also references John Carpenter’s 1989 film ‘They Live’, a dystopian cult film set in Los Angeles during a time of extreme social inequality characterised by high unemployment and conspicuous consumption. In the film, special sunglasses enable the wearer to see the true messages of advertising and mass media: ‘consume’ and ‘obey’. Host Figures (They Live) are produced as lenticular prints that also aim to reveal that commodities influence our actions and beliefs.

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