Teeth is the Subject of a UP Student’s Thesis Exhibit, Here’s Why…

Photo credit: Paulyn Mae Flores

If you’re familiar with the expression – show me your teeth, then you’re in for quite a treat as this exhibit by Seanelle Banaag called “Bad Mouth: Visualizing Negative Traits Through Dental Articulators” showcases different kinds with a deeper meaning to each set of teeth.

When asked what the exhibit is all about, Banaag shares:

My thesis is focused on changing the anatomy of the mouth to embody human traits, in particular negative ones. The mouth is the center of a lot of human activities like communication and consumption, and it has intimate roles and functions so it can be a natural symbol for thinking about ourselves, society and culture. I used articulators, which are commonly used for anatomical study in dental practice as the patient will have a better understanding of the disorders when there is a visual model useful for examining the entire mouth”

Check out all the interesting sculptures she made:

15. Addiction: According to mentalhelp.net: Addiction is the repeated involvement with a substance or activity, despite the substantial harm it now causes, because that involvement was (and may continue to be) pleasurable and/or valuable.

14. Anger: Collins Dictionary defines ‘Anger’ as an emotion caused by strong feeling whenever you think someone has behaved in an unfair, cruel and inappropriate manner.

13. A lack of concern or interest wherein there is no response or emotion is called Apathy as defined by Merriam Webster.

12. Merriam Webster explains corruption as the act of behaving in an illegal manner, where corrupt people are dishonest and improper.

11. As Cambridge Dictionary defines it, Deception means hiding the truth in order to benefit from it.

10. Duplicity means dishonest behavior with the intention of tricking somebody.

9. Fakery means being insincere with your words and actions.

Regarding what motivated Banaag to make this exhibit:

Both my parents are dentists so I grew up surrounded by all these dental materials. When I got into Fine Arts, that’s when I began to tinker around with them because I saw a lot of similarities in the art of sculpting. Dental medicine was something I was never interested in, no matter how much my parents encouraged it, so I was drawn to the idea that I might be able to circle back to it somehow, bridging with it my passion in the arts. I found that it produced a grotesque effect, just playing around with the anatomy, and even just the use of materials invoking the idea of the mouth is enough to gross people out. I’ve always been pulled towards the grotesque. I love the conflicting reactions people get; it could be disgust or rejection or fascination. It makes people question, so I wanted to plug in concepts that were parallel to the grotesque. So I explored deadly sins and other negative traits, all of which we are surrounded with and are especially relevant considering our current situation.

8. As defined by Cambridge Dictionary, Fatalism is the belief that people have no control over any of the events that will happen and all bad events cannot be avoided.

7. Flattery means to praise excessively even without meaning it or in order to gain something from it. It is insincere and has an ulterior motive when done, as Vocabulary.com states.

6. Gluttony is most popularly known as one of the seven deadly sins to man. It means that someone has a limitless appetite and overindulges in something, commonly, food. It is living to eat solely.

5. Gossipry: gossip is basically light, informal conversation but it’s usually about other people and what they are doing. Gossip can go a long way as to ruining some people’s lives especially when it’s untrue.

4. Another one of the seven deadly sins, Greed is known to be the trait of man where he has an excessive desire for wealth or earthly possessions.

3. Hypocrisy is defined by Merriam Webster as the behavior of contradicting what one claims to believe or feel.

2. One of the seven deadly sins, being lustful is to have an intense sexual desire or to have an uncontrolled appetite for it.

1. Slander is defined by Cambridge Dictionary as a speaking falsely about someone in order to damage the reputation of that person.

Lastly, Banaag wants her viewers to know this:

The role of art is always to get people to talk. You’re given objects to think with, relate to, criticize and consider. I am hopeful that this thesis will call to mind the varied experiences of the viewers concerning these traits; bring attention to political, social and cultural issues, both recent and age-old; and serve and as avenue for self-reflection.

Check out the whole installation on the second floor of the UPCFA Arts and Design West Building until June 15, 2019.

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