December 4, 2009

How to be PRETTY

Some images to whet your appetite for what is to come. Tuesday Dec 15th (7:30pm) at the Niles Art Gallery on UK's campus (the old library) I will be performing in "How to be PRETTY," directed by Lauren Argo. It is one of the Little Gaines Series.

Lauren seems to travel with laundry baskets full of bizarre items at all times. Styrofoam heads, wigs, and masks. Boxes of dirt. Amazing dresses and costumes from days of yore. A full spread of snacks, because she was raised right, and does Southern hospitality justice. Books about mountain top removal, and Japanese candy. Pink plastic kleenex boxes and gold spray painted cicadas. Her installation pieces are elaborate, cohesive, and broad. She throws a bunch of stuff in the air, and it lands looking like a perfect set from the movies. She knows how to leave big streaks of generalization in order to get your mind around an idea, and then reel you into feeling the situation personally with minute detail. Her creativity is immensely inspiring to me, as is her slapdash way of doing things. And I say that because what she does always works. I don't think I always have the time, energy, or talent to perfect things the way I see them in my head, but it's inspiring to see that sometimes, just DOING it, whether "perfect" or not, can actually become the perfection itself. I had the wonderful opportunity to perform last spring in her piece Farmer Daughter Cycle,
am looking forward to performing in her newest piece, how to be PRETTY.

Here's the description of the performance:

how to be PRETTY is a multi-media performance and installation examining female coming-of-age beauty rituals and society’s changing beauty standards. “What is (y)our idea of beauty?” and “How do young girls--through rituals--understand and react to beauty standards?”

From learning how to apply lipstick and mascara, to starting your period and getting your first bra, these beauty rituals are inform the rest of a woman's life. Often passed down like and old hankercheif from grandmothers, mothers, sisters, girlfriends and others, these rituals are formed by some of our earliest experiences.

how to be PRETTY comments on contemporary beauty standards in all parts of society, and the special role played by the Media. With hair dyes, teeth whitening, liposuction, and plastic surgery to name a few methods of body transformation, young girls focus on end results and how achieve them quickly, rather than working toward perfecting the ritual. We will always want to know how to be PRETTY.

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