Katrine Borup

Gyldenløvesgade 21, 4th
1600 København V — Denmark

+45 53 34 83 89
katborup@gmail.com

Danish Back

“THAT IS SO TYPICAL OF YOU" (2010)

“THAT IS SO TYPICAL OF YOU” consists of nine body objects – a mix of jewellery and clothing; nine portraits of human personality types corresponding to the basic types in the complex self-development system Enneagram.

Type 1 The Reformer (perfectionist)
Type 2 The Helper (giving)
Type 3 The Achiever (success-oriented/driven)
Type 4 The Individualist (creative/romantic)
Type 5 The Investigator (observer)
Type 6 The Loyalist (suspicious/sceptical)
Type 7 The Enthusiast (adventurer)
Type 8 The Challenger (leader)
Type 9 The Peacemaker (mediator)

HEAD, BODY and HEART

The Enneagram distinguishes between head-centred (cerebral) types, body-centred (instinctive) types and heart-centred (emotional) types. The nine objects in the project “THAT IS SO TYPICAL OF YOU” plays with this categorisation. Types 5, 6 and 7 have all been equipped with headgear, as they are all head-centred types, and the headgear is deliberately abstract and intellectual in its symbolism. The objects for the body-centred types - 8, 9 and 1 - are torso objects or objects with a particular emphasis on the torso area. They are all very physical and direct in their “language”. The objects for types 2, 3 and 4, which are the heart-centred types, are designed to refer to the heart (shape and/or positioning).

THE NINE PASSIONS

Each of the nine basic types in the Enneagram has an underlying passion. For seven of the types, the underlying passion corresponds to one of the seven deadly sins. The two additional passions are deceit and fear.

Type 1 Anger
Type 2 Pride
Type 3 Deceit
Type 4 Envy
Type 5 Avarice
Type 6 Fear
Type 7 Gluttony
Type 8 Lust
Type 9 Sloth

ASSERTIVE, WITHDRAWN and COMPLIANT

The Enneagram also distinguishes between assertive types (types 3, 7 and 8), withdrawn types (types 4, 5 and 9) and compliant types (types 1, 2 and 6). “THAT IS SO TYPICAL OF YOU” was created for Officinet, the exhibition venue of the Danish Arts and Crafts Association on Bredgade in Copenhagen. The nine objects were presented here in January 2010, positioned in the room in accordance with their categorisation as assertive, withdrawn or compliant. Types 3, 7 and 8 were placed in the middle of the room – these were the objects that the visitors came right up against as soon as they opened the door to Officinet. Types 4, 5 and 9 were placed in the distant corners of the room, while types 1, 2 and 6 were placed in the space in between the assertive and the withdrawn.

“THAT JUDGE'S GOWN IS ALL WRONG", TYPE 1 (BODY)
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“That judge’s gown is all wrong”, type 1 (body)

Velvet, eyelets, ribbons and lining

“THAT JUDGE'S GOWN IS ALL WRONG", TYPE 1 (BODY)

Type 1s are judgmental of others as well as of themselves; there is good and bad, right and wrong. Therefore, type 1 has been given a judge’s gown. In Denmark a Supreme Court Judge wears a gown or robe of crimson velvet with a white trim along the front opening.

Since type 1 is constantly focused on improving the world and “correcting errors”, the judge’s gown for type 1 was not done completely by the book but has been improved in accordance with an imagined type 1 judgment on the traditional judge’s gown: “Surely, a judge should appear white, pure and untainted, not dressed in red velvet.”

Type 1 individuals are body-centred– they receive a multitude of impulses from their bodies but try desperately to suppress these impulses. Control is essential for type 1s, and they carefully manage their diet, their weight, their body measurements and their hygiene (the white velvet gown may resemble a bath robe). This is illustrated by the corset-like constriction of the gown’s torso. Behind the lacing lurks a “dangerous” crimson lining as an image of the forbidden body – and, not least, sexuality.

The white velvet snakes over the red lining as stylised section marks.

Type 1’s underlying passion is ANGER – over having to restrain him/herself.

MOTHER FIGURE (FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE) WITH EMPTY POCKETS AND ANGEL WINGS, TYPE 2 (HEART)
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Mother figure (Florence Nightingale) with empty pockets and angel wings, type 2 (heart)

Cotton

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Mother figure (Florence Nightingale) with empty pockets and angel wings, type 2 (heart)

Cotton

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Mother figure (Florence Nightingale) with empty pockets and angel wings, type 2 (heart)

Cotton

MOTHER FIGURE (FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE) WITH EMPTY POCKETS AND ANGEL WINGS, TYPE 2 (HEART)

Type 2 is a caregiver – type 2s are adept at sensing other people’s needs and accommodating them. “Mother figure (Florence Nightingale) with empty pockets and angel wings” is based on a nurse’s uniform, since the nurse is a classic caregiver, and one of the conventional clichés about the nurse is that she does not have a job but a “calling” to help others.

Type 2 represents selfless kindness, and thus the nurse’s uniform for type 2 has been equipped with heart-shaped angel wings (type 2 is a heart-centred type). However, as a quirky feature, the angel wings on the back of the uniform are in fact pockets turned inside out, and the front of the gown has another 6 pockets, which resemble slack breasts. They refer to the mother – another classic caregiver.

In the side seams of the dress are two ordinary pockets turned inside out. Because they resemble the narrative pockets in terms of their size, shape, material and sewing technique, these ordinary pockets become narrative too. No one can have any doubt that type 2 has given her all, emptying out her pockets, her breasts and her angel wings.

Type 2’s underlying passion is PRIDE - over her own kindness and self-sacrifice. Type 2s risk turning bitter if they fail to receive proper attention and gratitude for their contributions.

SUCCESS-ORIENTED CHAMELEON, TYPE 3 (HEART)
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Success-Oriented Chameleon, type 3 (body)

Shirt and ribbons

SUCCESS-ORIENTED CHAMELEON, TYPE 3 (HEART)

Type 3 is career and success-oriented. Type 3s need outward signs that they are moving up in the world: good grades, titles, status symbols, and awards. They are competitive, and they play to win. Therefore, type 3 has a medal of folded silk ribbons pinned to the left side of the chest on a white shirt (type 3 is a heart-centred type).

Type 3s are performance-oriented and select activities based on the impression they can make on others. They are able to read a situation and deliver what is expected – they are adaptable and image-conscious chameleons. This is illustrated in the object for type 3, which features silk ribbons in various colours camouflaged as a button placket on the shirt, enabling type 3s to change their world champion status in a heartbeat. The silk ribbons in the medal can be buttoned on or off as needed. One day, the wearer may be a (green) Conservative with honours, the next day a (red/yellow) Socialist. Or the wearer can quickly switch to the white ribbons that mark a world champion of ... dog-sleigh racing, if this proves advantageous, or sport a mix of red and white ribbons as a champion of Danish patriotism or ….

Type 3’s underlying passion is DECEIT.

“ON RAINY MONDAYS ON SOLITUDE LANE….", TYPE 4 (HEART)
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“On rainy Mondays on Solitude Lane…”, type 4 (body)

Rain coat fabric and lining

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“On rainy Mondays on Solitude Lane…”, type 4 (body)

Rain coat fabric and lining

“ON RAINY MONDAYS ON SOLITUDE LANE….", TYPE 4 (HEART)

Type 4s perceive themselves as different – 4s are often painfully aware of their own traits and shortcomings and hope to be rescued by someone else (a knight in shining armour). “The other” is perceived as a source of love, kindness and beauty. Type 4’s sense of identity revolves around being a suffering victim. Therefore, the main motif in the object for type 4 is a target.

“On rainy Mondays on Solitude Lane…” is a full-circle rain cape, which in addition to the victimisation theme plays on another characteristic type 4 feature: moodiness. The cuts in this circular cape for type 4 correspond to the concentric rings in a target (the strips are held in place by six seams that run from the centre to the outside edge) and offer the built-in possibility of switching between a closed black appearance and a frilly openness that offers a peek at the underlying pink lining.

Type 4s see themselves as flawed. This is illustrated with an additional target made of carefully punched-out holes (bullet holes/romantic hole pattern). The two ring systems have separate centres – they are oddly “off centre” in relation to one another. When the rain cape is worn, the “bull’s eye” of the hole-based target is exactly above the wearer’s heart. Type 4 is a heart-centred type, controlled by emotions – type 4s generate emotions in order to feel alive. Thus, the rings of holes can also be viewed as radiation or as waves of emotion pumped out by the heart.

Type 4’s underlying passion is ENVY. Type 4s are easy prey to negative comparisons that trust them into a pit of sadness, vulnerability and pain and a sense of being misunderstood.

“I TEND TO GET MY BRIGHT IDEAS WHEN I'M ALONE", TYPE 5 (HEAD)
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“I tend to get my bright ideas when I’m alone”, type 5 (head)

Paper (old encyclopaedia pages)

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“I tend to get my bright ideas when I’m alone”, type 5 (head)

Paper (old encyclopaedia pages)

“I TEND TO GET MY BRIGHT IDEAS WHEN I'M ALONE", TYPE 5 (HEAD)

Type 5 is the most rational and cerebral of all the types in the Enneagram. Type 5 has forgotten that life cannot be studied but must be lived. Arranging everything in accordance with systems, categories, models and processes is a type 5 specialty. Type 5s have established patterns to help them acquire knowledge, appear competent and quickly turn the back on the world if it becomes too invasive.

Type 5’s lamp-shade-like headgear plays with the cartoon symbol of the inventive brain: a lit light bulb. But the lamp shade also refers to the private space that type 5 individuals so often retreat to and want others to respect. The lamp shade can be worn in a way that bares the face, or one can retreat fully into one’s “study” to scrutinise the backs of the encyclopaedia pages that the hat is made of – or peer out at life through the tiny hole where the shade is assembled. The folds refer to the folds of the brain but are much sharper and more mathematical than the soft folds of the brain.

Type 5’s underlying passion is AVARICE, as type 5s are stingy with their time, energy and resources – and often feel overwhelmed and invaded by other people’s expectations. Type 5s are lone wolves and are not unhappy about being alone.

LURKING DANGERS AND NAGGING DOUBTS, TYPE 6 (HEAD)
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Lurking dangers and nagging doubts, type 6 (head)

Paper, plastic film and thread

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Lurking dangers and nagging doubts, type 6 (head)

Paper, plastic film and thread

LURKING DANGERS AND NAGGING DOUBTS, TYPE 6 (HEAD)

Type 6 is loyal and, not least, true to the notion that all ideas should be treated with scepticism. Type 6 individuals have no faith in their own judgment and are consequently afraid of making important decisions – however, they also resist having others make decisions on their behalf. Type 6s weigh the pros and cons: on the one hand, on the other hand – a choir of inner voices must be heard every time a type 6 has to make a decision, and 6s often feel indecisive.

The underlying passion for type 6 individuals is FEAR, and they are alert and vigilant, suspicious and overly sensitive to signs of danger. They never fail to consider the worst-case scenario and are often perceived as pessimistic by others. In their own mind, they are simply being realistic.

Type 6 is a head-centred type and has therefore been given a “safety helmet” made of paper triangles. The triangle is both a warning sign and a direction indicator (dangers and doubts). This is a rather unsafe safety helmet, not only because of the chosen material but also because the triangles are only held together in the corners by thread, and thus the helmet is barely capable of “standing up” on its own. Some of the triangles can be opened ajar (trust/suspicion); if they are all opened, they point in different directions as an image of the 6’s indecisiveness. The surface of the helmet is shiny plastic film with a print of blazing flames. The surface refers to the screen surfaces – TV and computer screens – that bombard us with horrors and dread on a daily basis. The paper refers to the print media.

CREATIVE PARTY MONKEY, TYPE 7 (HEAD)
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Creative party monkey, type 7 (head)

Balloons and thread

CREATIVE PARTY MONKEY, TYPE 7 (HEAD)

Type 7 is positive, enthusiastic, audacious and full of life – seeking out parties and fun and always happy to contribute to the entertainment. Type 7s are amazing brain stormers; they constantly have new ideas and are always juggling many balls at once – and launching test balloons. However, they may have trouble completing the many projects they initiate, and that is why the headgear for the 7 is not an exact form but rather an unfinished structure of balloons, loosely stitched together. A type 7 might have come up with the idea for this hat but definitely did not construct it – a 7 simply would not have the necessary patience.

The underlying passion for a type 7 is GLUTTONY. Type 7s are on a never-ending quest for happiness, excitement, things, travel, self-indulgence. They often complain that they are bored – but maybe what they call boredom is actually a sort of anxiety they feel when the environment fails to provide sufficient stimulation for them to stave off negative emotions. As an image of the 7’s gluttony the connected balloons form a porous structure that resembles suction cups as well as a coarse-mesh sieve – the 7 may “latch on” but lacks the persistence to “hold on”.

In the exhibition, “Creative party monkey” was suspended from the ceiling like a disco ball above a “stage” of confetti that was whirled up every time the door to Officinet was opened – airy and fleeting.

STRONG, EXPLOSIVE, BEDECKED WITH STARS, TYPE 8 (BODY)
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Strong, explosive, bedecked with stars, type 8 (body)

Leather, felt, cotton and thread

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Strong, explosive, bedecked with stars, type 8 (body)

Leather, felt, cotton and thread

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Strong, explosive, bedecked with stars, type 8 (body)

Leather, felt, cotton and thread

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Strong, explosive, bedecked with stars, type 8 (body)

Leather, felt, cotton and thread

STRONG, EXPLOSIVE, BEDECKED WITH STARS, TYPE 8 (BODY)

Type 8 possesses strength, will-power, persistence and perseverance and seeks the same qualities in others. Type 8s have drive and steely determination. They do not like being under anyone else’s control or in anyone’s debt – they strive for independence. Much of their behaviour is therefore aimed at securing power, and 8s often rise to the top in classic hierarchies. Type 8 individuals have a fear of rejection of and therefore often make sure to reject others first, in a sort of defensive move.

The armour for type 8 plays with the notions of defence and attack. At first glance, the defences are up, but the many leather “hand grenades” are easily detonated. A firm tug on the red threads that keep the leather triangles together makes them open up into an aggressive posture as they bare their teeth/raise their bristles. The animal aspect is underscored by the choice of leather as the material.

Type 8s often experience a good argument as stimulating – they may explode without prior warning but are usually quick to move on, while the people around them are still trying to get past what happened. In their flat state, the angular building blocks of the armour are star-shaped – a reference to the stars that mark the rank of military officers.

Type 8’s underlying passion is LUST; interactions with others should be intense, work should be intense – life should be intense.

“I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU", TYPE 9 (BODY)
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“I totally agree with you", type 9 (body)

Cotton, stuffing and badges

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“I totally agree with you", type 9 (body)

Cotton, stuffing and badges

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“I totally agree with you", type 9 (body)

Cotton, stuffing and badges

“I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU", TYPE 9 (BODY)

No other type is as focused on achieving inner and outer peace for themselves and others as the 9s, and they have to fight to resist the urge to flee the world and escape into a premature Buddha state. Type 9s see themselves as anonymous, modest, happy to stay in the background without putting anyone out. They are self-effacing – the kind of people that risk being treated as part of the furniture. Hence, the object for type 9 is a grey padded tracksuit inspired by a chesterfield sofa.

Type 9’s underlying passion is SLOTH – in a mental sense. The buttons in the chesterfield sofa-inspired tracksuit are 60 badges with removable textile covers that make it possible to display opinions that match the environment while concealing any potentially challenging laden statements.