Ren Buchness

Stay Soft

Ren Buchness

Elephant in the Room

Will I fit? Will I fit….into a physical space, a psychological space, a societal space, and if I don’t, why not? Am I more than my fat body? Am I seen beyond my fat body?
These questions haunt me throughout every day as a fat woman. I often feel both invisible and hyper visible simultaneously. Contemporary culture criticizes the fat woman and limits where she is allowed to exist. My work challenges the idea that fatness defines the individual, and confronts the validity of body standards.
While the paintings are self portraits, the lack of identifiable features strip me of my identity to suggest that society uses my fatness to dehumanize me. My hands interact with the faceless fat figures gripping and squeezing the flesh, trying to keep the forms contained while forcing the viewer to confront my fatness. The videos parallel these actions by constantly reshaping amorphous faux flesh into a neat and tidy form. Grabbing, squishing, pressing, pinching, and shaping convey the frustration trying to fit, and of not being seen beyond the fat.

I will Fit.

I am seen.

I am more than my fat body.

Videos can be seen at

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