When one relocates to Paris, France after living in the United States, they are confronted with a different expression of sexuality. To the foreign eye, the elegant and flowing body language of the French can be (mis)construed as attempted seduction. This series was inspired by the French's nuanced expression of sensuality in opposition to the American performance of hyper-sexuality. From this idea emerged the concept in which the artist develops through dark and comedic visual representations: Sexe Sans Sex (which means "Sexe (french spelling) without Sex (English spelling)."
Can a click on a virtual body invite transgressions on real body? Do we exploit ourselves in exchange for clicks, and does that exploitation manifest differently across age/race/sex/gender? In this series, Lala Drona looks into the exhibitionist/voyeuristic dichotomy which makes up the landscape of the Internet. She links the act of clicking with the act of touching, and inquires about the implications regarding consent. Are we instilling bad habits when it comes to how we treat women’s bodies online, and could these habits have real life consequences?
A mouse click on a virtual body can be an act of affirmation, an act of curiosity, or an act of violence. However, above all, a click today represents an exchange. One sees this in our tendency to value ourselves and content through our number of “likes,” “friends,” and “followers.” Many girls feel pressured to sexualise themselves online in order to receive this currency, while other demographics do not. In a world where the virtual overlaps with the real, it is vital that we become more conscious of the impact of this “click value system,” and of our contribution to it.
Explores the themes of identity, the beauty/monster within symmetry, and transitions.
“The Box” are the screens we interact with, the media we watch, the canvases we paint, the virtual and real spaces that we inhabit.
These boxes are presented in grayscale to represents a perpetual voyage between extremes, in a society of perpetual “update,” or (re)definition.
Lala Drona stayed at an artist in residency program, the location at its origin, an Epidemic Hospital built in the late 19th century. This story influenced Lala Drona to examine the epidemic effect online.
Viral content online spreads similarly to disease outbreaks IRL. An epidemic has a point of origin (patient zero) and spreads exponentially from individual to group. Rather than looking at how the epidemic causes destruction, this work focuses on how an epidemic brings life. From one point of view, patient zero is perceived to be alienated from the other elements, as it sacrifices itself to bring life to others. While from another point of view, patient zero is the origin of life—the vital thread that connects everything together. In this way, patient zero is the least alone element in the image.
Lala Drona uses (a)symmetry to highlight the reflectivity of the Internet. “It serves as a a mirror that reflects humanity in its entirety. However, like in a concave mirror; the image is magnified and hyperbolized. This makes certain aspects of our society more apparent, and with the storage of data, it also makes them quantifiable. The beauty and terror that we find online, are the beauties and terrors we find within ourselves.”
The Internet is a tool, and can be used for alienation or for connection. With the Internet, long distance friendships and romances become possible in ways that formerly were not. We are exposed to a diverse ray of human beings and their stories, and some find real-life connection through online dating. When we are not able to use our physical voices, we send messages to keep our lines of communication flowing.
The first workable prototype for the Internet, as we use it today, was created as a decentralized communication system during the height of the Cold War. If a city’s communication was destroyed due to bombings, then communication could switch to a nearby router.
Before advancements in communication technology, interaction within our relationships only existed if we were in the same physical space as the other. Human communication was centralized around a physical and “real” interaction. Now, with a decentralized system of communication, our interaction, even when separated, is instantaneous and constant; our bonds uninterrupted: i.e. “It’s too loud in the subway, I’ll text you.”
This series depicts the digital spaces we inhabit in the form of gradated boxes. Lala Drona delineates the spaces that we inhabit online, and expresses their transient nature in grayscale. These gradated boxes blur the lines between the virtual and the real, just as virtual communication blurs the lines between relationships and intimacy.
Inspired by human relationships from the virtual to the real, the triptych “Decentralized, Connected.” examines human relationships that originate online. It begins at our first encounters, then travels through our growing friendships, and finally demonstrates how we can change the world simply by coming together.
Throughout my life, I have filled out forms regarding sex, gender, sexuality, financial/criminal background. As a Venezuelan-American, left-breast reconstructed, gender queer person, it is never easy to fill in boxes. After piles of paperwork, I began feeling alienated, and imposed on. I was defined by definitions that were not mine. In order to rectify the situation, I took the forms and imposed my body on them, in turn appropriating and re-humanising them.
The Breast Series is inspired by Lala’s past, a medical procedure resulting in Lala having one real breast, and the other breast an implant.
Lala studied images of herself and other women’s breasts, and sat hours in front of a mirror in order to face and overcome her demons.