The Emperor’s New Nose
INDIVIDUAL: IS agent Mark Romero-Davis //
GROUP SIZE: including my parents? //
NATURE OF GROUP: History Revisionists, Body Modifiers, the Vain, the Self-Loathing, the Easily-Manipulated, those who are somewhat interested in noses //
INCIDENCE OF SOCIOMETRY: The Emperor’s New Nose //
“…..a comrade servant came into my bedchamber, and offered me a glass of Ensure. I exhaled heavily and slowly sat up, feeling weaker than I ever have before. I leaned forward and opened my mouth, ready to receive the beverage as the comrade lifted the glass to me. I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the glass, and my gaze immediately fell upon my nose. If it were not for that blasted Ren Mei Rong, who when we were only children, likened my nose to the nose of George Washington. I wish I could forget this comment. But it has stuck with me through the decades. I even sent him and his family to a labor camp after I became chairman, but the memory of this insult remained with me. A grand symbol of Capitalism sits in the middle of my face! I mustered the strength to knock the glass of Ensure from the servant’s hands, spilling it on the royal red bedsheets. I had the comrade servant executed for spilling on me. If only I had undergone a procedure to alter my nose. I had the opportunity all my life and yet did nothing to put the nose hatred to rest. This, is my only regret in life…”
~ Chairman Mao – September 8, 1976
I was initially interested in exploring some aspect of revisionist history after hearing a report about a lesser-known dictator. The picture painted of the man was hardly representative of the “true” history. This then led me to think about plastic surgery and body modification and how people change their appearance for various reasons, but never change other aspects of their life (their terrible personalities, addictions, extreme bias, etc). I then started writing this fictitious narrative weaving the two ideas together that Chairman Mao did in fact hate his own nose and wanted to have it altered though never found the time (this is how my easily-distracted brain works).
Then came a website with The Nose Vote, ‘zine with carnival mask, thesis exhibit to confused and/or bemused Communication Designers and display at iSFair 2O12!
Winner of the Nose Vote: Groucho Marx! Although he was not on the ballot between candidates Castro, Engles Lenin, Trotsky (dark horse) Ghandi, and Karl Marx there were a number of write-in votes (4) that pushed him past Trotsky in the running (poor guy can’t ever win). ~ Agent Mark Romero-Davis
ThIS report was on display and a final Nose Vote were conducted at iSFair 2O12. The Chairman Mao masks were the #1 hottest item at the fair.