"Whimsy matters." (Aimee Mullins on aesthetics, prosthetics, and her glorious gams)
Okay, we've talked a lot of business this week, so I thought we might wind down to the weekend with a healthy stretching exercise, which will hopefully offer a different way to wrap your head around both form and function in your WIP, whatever that may be.
A natural born athlete who lost her legs as an infant, Aimee Mullins learned to walk, then run, then fly on prosthetics. As a student at Georgetown, she was the first disabled athlete to compete in NCAA Division I track and field. But don't say that in front of her.
"Pamela Anderson has a lot more prosthetics in her body than I do, and nobody calls her disabled," says Mullins. "The conversation is no longer about overcoming a deficiency; it's about augmentation."
About five minutes into the video below, Mullins introduces this awesome pair of ornately carved wooden legs, on which she strolled the catwalk in her first runway fashion show. The array of prosthetic legs she's inspired and collaborated on include the mind-blowing glass, cheetah girl, and jellyfish legs in Matthew Barney's freaky Cremaster Cycle. That's when she clicked to the idea that her legs could be "wearable sculpture."
"I started to move away from the need to replicate human-ness as the aesthetic ideal," Mullins says. "The only purpose these legs can serve outside the film is to provoke the senses and ignite the imagination. The whimsy matters."