Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Show on!

Fiona

Greta
(she will have a staff in her right hand)

Viola

Marie
(in progress- her bread box will open and inside will be something cooking,
with an 'oven' light.  Maybe she'll have a 'bun in the oven'.)
 
TV stand
(upon which I will mount a flat screen TV
that will pay the video I am going to make)
 
 
It is official!  The Four Housewives of the Apocalypse will be stormin' the Bastille from March 14, 2014 to May 4, 2014, at the Thames Art Gallery in Chatham.  I am very excited! 
 
Here is the proposal:
The Four Housewives of the Apocalypse
Since May of 2013, I have been working on a series of four full-sized mannequins, entitled “The Four Housewives of the Apocalypse”.  This series is a departure of sorts for me.  I wanted to challenge myself and create work that transcended the confines of a box, shutter, or page. 
I wondered what would happen if women from history just stopped doing what was expected of them.  What if moms stopped reading or passing on their knowledge to their kids?  What if seamstresses just stopped making dresses or darning socks?  What if the Lady of the House just stopped being entertaining and witty?  What if the cook stopped cooking?  The answer to me was obvious:  there would be an apocalypse.  The world would grind to a halt. At the very least, our world would be much less civilized.
The four mannequins represent times in history when women were involved in battle, but within this installation, they are also  assigned a traditional female role against which they are fighting.  I wanted to represent the duality of women’s lives throughout time.  As women became more educated and/or became agents of societal change, a certain amount of domesticity was and still is expected.  Greta is a military intelligence officer from World War II but also teaches her kids how to read. Viola is a Suffragette from the 1920’s but also is an accomplished salon piano player and singer who robotically plays for and entertains her husband’s business associates.  Fiona is a highland warrior from the 1820’s who wields a mace and defends her land, but is also expected to darn her family’s socks and create beautiful embroidered samplers for the home.   Marie is a resistance fighter from the French Revolution but is also the proverbial wife who is barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. 
 
This group of mannequins will be accompanied by a video featuring old TV commercials, footage of women, and footage of me engaging in domestic duties.  This video will be shown from the ‘head’ of a fifth mannequin that will consist of mannequin legs, a small table, and a TV screen that will be her face.  I aim to recreate a ‘Victorian parlour’ atmosphere within the project room  space, which will consist of parlour drapery at the entrance to the project room, a chandelier, and black silhouettes of parlour chairs on the walls.  I also hope to add a wallpaper effect to the walls with stencils and lightly-applied paint.