Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique  discovering  thesis and processes behind the work.








Conversation between Frances Goodman and Olivia Ramos.

Frances Goodman


RAMOS: Hi Frances, thank you fro joining me


GOODMAN: no problem


I was just looking at the piece "Seething Red"


I can't believe it is all made with acrylic nails... it makes me happy and uncomfortable at the same time


yes, that is what I was hoping to achieve with the work, it is both seductive and has a visceral affect on one


it feels very much 'of the body' as it were


I remember having acrylic nails for my 8th grade prom


and thinking it was the most horrific experience, especially after the natural nail begins to grow


what made you choose this medium?


I was attracted to the medium for a number of reasons


I like working with products from the beauty industry, things women use to adorn themselves with.  And false nails are an ideal example of this


but it's more than just that.  Nails grow off the body, and they have threatening and powerful connotations.  They also speak of the abject which I am interested in.


The way nails grow are, for a me, a metaphor of how women can colonize space.


I also like false nails as I feel they are one of the beauty regimes where women can really go all out, they can break the confines of beauty expectations


I am curious about your comment about women colonizing space.


Men can grow nails just as well


in fact many do


that is true


I suppose I am interested in femininity and my position as a woman, so that is my perspective.




Frances Goodman





you can same similar things about hair




I'm not excluding men


long hair is said to be a powerful thing for a woman


but men can grow it as well


yes, its all about social programming


and what is expected of us as both men and women


yeah and what is curious is that only in the social programming of women, do we get an excess of "prosthetics"


wigs, nails, implants...


it's almost as if our bodies are not enough


I was listening to a pod cast the other day that was discussing the rise of plastic surgery and it said how as women pump themselves with silicone they become more like dolls and the dolls of the sex industry are becoming more like women


This point really struck me and I think it has informed a lot of this exhibition -I am interested in the growing need women have to alter themselves.  And I'm interested in how we go below the surface to alter and change the exterior


that is a disturbing statistic


it is


as if men thought they knew what they wanted, got it, and now they want what they had




the disturbing part is that women didn't stand up what what they were


If you look at films about fembots etc,  you see this fascination with the perfect, subservient woman, the woman who knows her place.


Creating a doll or fembot that looks like a woman and behaves like one, means that you can control the aspects and elements you get


there is no resistance or kick back


yes but you have to take a look at the economic landscape - I think women want the same thing, however, only men, at least in the past, have had the money to pay for such things. So an industry was built around it.


don't you think women have fantasies about obedient men?


I'm sure they do.


But I am interested in the social and capitalist structures that we operate in, the status quo as it were, and the notion of the obedient, submissive women is fed to us way more then the idea of the submissive man


absolutely, my point was only that this desire or instinct to control another human being is not specific to men


I agree


it has been possible for men, only via economic superiority




do you feel that this is changing?


yes I do think it is


However, I do feel these social constructs are so entrenched and deep seated that it's very hard to shift things


because I think we find ourselves acting to type even when we're trying to resist and break away


yes well we can't just detached from society, there are consequences


and these entrenched constructs or social contracts have been around for thousands of years


yes, because it's not in the interests of the power structures for us to detach


if we do they lose their power and control


big business, advertising, politics etc. relies on having control over people


so rely, not relies


lets add religion and academia to that list


good point


it is everywhere


it is


but it isn't only towards women, it can be racial and classist


very true. mostly even more so.


yes but to your point, even within the races, women are always sees as less than.


I agree, that is extremely complex.


in some cases, in some religions to be more specific, there were claims that women had no souls


that they were merely vessels for procreation


and then older schools of thought that said God was a woman


obviously that is not the case today


no, that wouldn't work for the patriarchal model we operate under


yes it wouldn't work, but if this is the truth, and women do have souls then those guys are in for a big surprise


Hopefully they're surprised every day.  And every time the status quo is challenged and things change, the balance of power will shift.


that is a lofty thought though, it seems that that not much is really shifting


if nothing was shifting we wouldn't be having this conversation


So you think it is shifting, or it's not?


it definitely is, at some point the awareness is too strong for the ego-driven contracts to maintain


I think the move to the right that we are seeing in politics is very concerning


I'm afraid that a liberal few (relatively speaking) are experiencing a change, but on the whole it is still extremely tough to be a woman, a person of colour, or part of any minority


and I think that the power structures we spoke of earlier are doing everything in their power to keep it that way


naturally, everyone wants to survive, and those ego-drive have a need to be right, even when the inverse is obvious.


let me ask you something a bit off topic


what do you think happens when we die?


I'm an atheist.  I don't think anything happens


I think this is it (life that is)