*Warning:: Mildly offensive subject matter and terms.
Ike Ude uses men’s dress shirts in contrast with text, to approach the issue of private vs. public self. Upon first glance at the image, the viewer discovers a crisp white dress shirt, and a generic tie. The image is clean, and it is apparent that the image is solely about the object. There is no signifier to help the viewer determine the body that would reside in this clothing, in fact the clothes seems to belong to a faceless human. Within the series, the tie changes but remains nonspecific throughout the images. The design of tie changing seems to signify that these shirts belong to different people. Text sewn into the collar exposes a specific side of self not communicated through the dress shirt.
The text is mildly offensive and a bit off-putting. It seems as if this text was taken straight off an Internet add, unmodified from the original message. The tag sewn into the collar of the shirt is very specific and reveals a private self. The text exposes a self-coded by nicknames or individuals on a first name basis only. These messages are the happenings of our private world, in a world in which people are subservient to primal instincts. It is this undisclosed self that is contained within all humans. It is part of our chemical makeup, and constantly suppressed within public. In society, the indulgent self is restricted and frowned upon within culture. These private factions are looked at as immoral.
I believe Ude is speaking about society’s resolve to this suppressed side of self. The general public tends to believe that if you wear something specific, drive something, or buy something it changes that makeup in some fashion. It creates another side of self, a mask, to parade around in. It is something to disguise another world that some resist but others indulge in; a world of promising carnal acts and private selves concealed through nicknames and aliases. The dichotomy of the image in relation to the text mirrors the way in which we live our lives. There is a certain manner in which to conduct yourself in public space and wearing a button down shirt and tie will speak to the idea that you are one of the reformed, and in someway these marketable things changes everyone’s perception of you.
more to come...