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I Want You to Feel the Way I Do ... (The Dress), 1984-1985

Jana Sterbak
Czechoslovakian, Canadian, 1955
live uninsulated nickel-chrome wire mounted on wire mesh, electrical cord and power, with slide-projected text
144.8 x 121.9 x 45.7 cm (installation aux dimensions variable)
Purchased 1986
National Gallery of Canada (no. 29543)

I want you to feel the way I do: There's wire wrapped all around my head and my skin grates on my flesh from the inside. How can you be so comfortable only 5" to the left of me? I don't want to hear myself think, feel myself move. It's not that I want to be numb, I want to slip under your skin: I will listen for the sound you hear, feed on your thought, wear your clothes. Now I have your attitude and you're not comfortable anymore. Making them yours you relieved me of my opinions, habits, impulses. I should be grateful but instead ... you're beginning to irritate me: I am not going to live with myself inside your body, and I would rather practice being new on someone else.






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