Deconstructed Car Seats, Earrings, Pearls, Chains, Glue
Fake it Til You Make It (2019), a modified car seat embellished with the words of the work’s title, calls to mind early erotic experiences in the back seats of cars: fumbling, frantic, often ultimately futile. The sculptural relief work employs fake pearls, diamantés, earrings, pocket change, necklaces, and a spare key to spell out words evocative of those that might be exchanged during transactions between teenage sweethearts, sex worker and client, or otherwise forbidden lovers.
This glittering array of now redundant items, which may have been dropped between the seats and left behind during these backseat love affairs, become metaphors for loss and letting go. The car as a metaphor for sexuality isn’t an unfamiliar one – we’ve all heard the big-car-small-dick jokes, or recognise what someone really means when they ask if you’re up for a ‘joyride’. The unmistakably sticky leatherette of the car seat references this language, recalling a space where women's bodies have been subject to varying degrees of violence, exploitation, pleasure, and even empowerment.
Now empty of the bodies that occupied it, the back seat becomes a space of both desire and disgrace, a place that resonates as private and romantic and lewd and public all at once. The interplay of the English aphorism, Fake It Til You Make It, shifts between its definition of “imitating confidence, competence, or optimism in order to realise those qualities in real life,” and a reference to the female orgasm (or lack thereof). Goodman uses these words, a well-worn and pithy observation, to interrogate desire, the loss of innocence, and what there is to be gained (or lost) through experience.