Love Every Body! is an unrealized, kinetic public art installation by Jennifer Dalton Vincent and Polina Volfovich that celebrates love and intimacy in its full diversity.
In form, Love Every Body! consists of four figures in a moment of embrace. The figures shown in profile are flamboyant, yet gender-neutral. Each figure is matched with a partner, their profiles aligning so that their mouths kiss.
Standing at approximately 6 feet tall, the figures are made of clear acrylic and covered with a dichroic film that shimmers an iridescent, color-shifting spectrum of warm and cool tones. The face of each figure is detailed with black and reflective vinyl, and LED tape lights. They spill color-shifting shadows during sunny days, and glitter and blink multi-colored light during the night. The figures are spot-lit from multiple ground points so that they are brightened during dark hours.
Love Every Body! is a kinetic artwork whose movement is powered by the wind. Each figure has a steel rod that runs through it and each pair of figures is stabilized by a steel frame. They move by virtue of sets of ball bearings, which allow them to spin a full 360 degrees in the wind.
Love Every Body!
A Project Proposal
Illustration by Polina Volfovich, In Situ by Anna Snyder
While American society has, on the whole, become more accepting of LGBTQ* communities as can be seen through the passage of gay marriage and the rising acceptance of gender-neutral bathrooms, the truth remains that love and intimacy are largely represented in the media as belonging exclusively to heterosexual bodies. One consequence of privileging images of heterosexual love is the perpetuation of binaries. This brand of binary thinking inhibits society’s ability to conceive of a more dynamic and inclusive definition of love in which trans, gender non-conforming, and queer identities are celebrated.
That it remains difficult to locate images that move beyond heterosexual love in public places should come as no surprise: the rise of mass media and advertising coincided with a time in which many bodies belonging to non-dominant racial, gender, and sexual categories were made invisible. A consequence of this history is that when images of LGBTQ* love appears in public, their rarity renders them political and positions them as sites for social debate.
Working from this premise, Love Every Body! seeks present an alternative in public space that imagines love and intimacy beyond conceptions of gender and even sexuality. Flamboyant, yet gender-neutral, the figures move by natural forces towards and away from their object of romantic affection -- mimicking the joyful and fraught nature of all romantic encounters. As their audience, we are faced with a familiar moment of embrace, anticipating the moment the winds will turn the figures into their kiss and fulfill their connection. At the same time, we are challenged to think beyond familiar images of white, heterosexual, cis love by the figures’ colors and emotive qualities.