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-60s turning point for fashion, in time with feminist movement, much more expression through clothes
-following sexists ads of 60s (whilst still enduring much sexism) women were more free to express themselves through these means
interest in the way exhibition displayed, with prints/art alongside furniture and textiles/garments.
displayed in sets of domestic interiors in the time period women were breaking away from domesticated housewife role, plays on ideas of gender as a performance, which I think drag makes fun of the invisible boundaries of gender expression.
Marina Diamandis is a Welsh/Greek singer, song-writer and producer currently known mononymously as MARINA and previously known as Marina and the Diamonds.
♡ I ’ D R A T H E R H A V E A B O T T L E I N F R O N T O F M E T H A N A F R O N T A L L O B O T O M Y ♡ #Primadonna
♡ E L E C T R A ’ S B E D R O O M ♡ #subarbiea
‘Electra Heart’ Album Artwork
I found Diamandis’ work within her second studio album, ‘Electra Heart’ (2012) to follow a very similar theme to my work. The album follows the titular character also referred to as Electra Heart who portrays representations of female archetypes in typically American popular culture. Playing the role of Electra herself, she plays roles of housewife, beauty queen, home wrecker and idle teen for example. She combined the concept of the American Dream and Greek tragedy to create a strong visualisation and story to compliment her music.
♡ W I T H T H E N E W S P A P E R S T R I K E O N , I W O U L D N’ T C O N S I D E R D Y I N G … ♡ #Primadonna #electra heart #the archetypes
Diamandis was inspired by the mini-stars of the internet, specifically on tumblr. Starting this project in 2011, in the height of tumblr, people would share images of random people, sometimes models often just everyday users. Many of these images of strangers would have little to no context or background to the people in these viral images – to Diamandis they were just anonymous faces. This intrigued her so whilst traveling across the U.S. she began taking pictures of herself, trying to look different in each image, this developed into the character of Electra Heart. She herself made a blog for Electra Heart. This is where she built up the characters story, hinted teasers of lyrics/aesthetics of the upcoming album and generally interacted with fans.
The project was described by Diamandis as an “ode to Cindy [Sherman]” and had intended for the work to be shown in a photography exhibition format. She planned to separate the series distinguished the four main archetype characteristics of Electra (housewife, beauty queen, home wrecker, idle teen). However, with constraints in funding and the release of singles mixing between different archetypes, the work was only presented online through her blog and in music videos, album promotion and merchandise.
♡ MY HUSBAND SAID IT WAS HIM OR THE CAT. I MISS HIM SOMETIMES ♡
The character was killed off in the music video of the song “Electa Heart”, with Diamandis posting “Goodbye, Electra Heart!” on Twitter the same day the video was released. (8th of August 2013)
♡ M O T H E R ’ S R U I N E D ♡ #SuBarbieA
♡ I ’ M G O N N A P O P Y O U R B U B B L E G U M H E A R T ♡ #teen idles
♡ F * C K L O V E U P & M A K E I T E V O L ♡ #Homewrecker
Throughout the process of discussing my work and showing it to others I was recommended to look at the work of Tschape. Without knowing any of her work beforehand it became apparent that in her series ‘100 Little Deaths,’ she had already made a body of work holding strong similarities to the images I have intended to create.
Antiparos (1998) from the series 100 Little Deaths.
Starting the project in 1996 and working on it through to 2002. The work presents the artist in a series of 100 self portraits, lying face down in different environments across the world. The work also acts as a travel diary for the artist between these years, her work is symbolic of the idea of leaving a part of yourself in every place you visit. In visiting these places, she had a taste for a different life for that short period of time her routine, connections and lifestyle made adjustments and in leaving, she cuts that new life short.
Tuscany (2002) from the series 100 Little Deaths.
“It was the idea of me dying, or living a little history that was very short in every place.”
Tschape describes the series as a pace between comedy and tragedy allowing the work to become surreal yet theatrical.
Fiji. (2002) from the series 100 Little Deaths.
These little deaths she photographs allow the artist to mark an end of the person she has developed into in a specific location, to represent the death of an old identity in order to allow for her to move on to consume a new identity in a new location until her next little death.
“During the Irish Exhibition of Living Art in 1972, Brian O’Doherty, in a performance before 30 invited witnesses and assisted by artists Robert Ballagh and Brian King, undertook to sign his artworks Patrick Ireland ‘until such time as the British military presence is removed from Northern Ireland’. After 36 years of making art as Patrick Ireland, O’Doherty reclaimed his birth name with the symbolic burial of his alter ego in the grounds of IMMA on the afternoon of Tuesday 20 May 2008.”
Playing character in work, also killing them off eventually. Performance has a political motive, encouraging change.
Juno Birch is a sculptor and drag queen with a very distinctive retro 60’s campy style, with a very original and thought out character I would consider her drag persona as modern performance art. Her sculpture work closely associated to her drag character also informs the aesthetics of her character. Drawing inspiration from films and pop culture, mainly interests from her youth that she would cling to as a form of escapism as a young trans person trying to find ways to associate to femininity. Birch uses her drag and sculptures to celebrate trans bodies through a mix of beauty, fashion and comedy.
‘Miss Moon’ (2019/20) Sculpture work taken from Birch’s instagram.
Birch’s drag revolves around the character of an alien women trying to blend in as a 1960’s housewife. Playing with aesthetics of the time associated with femininity.
“I’m Juno Birch, a glamorous alien women who crash landed on Earth in 1962. Ever since I’ve been tragically dress like a lady, but kind of doing it a bit clumsily.”
Bread bag as accessory
“A lot of the time my sculptures will exaggerate artificial beauty. Very often I will make a sculpture and design a look first, and then do it on myself.”
Influenced by characters in movies
Rocky Horror Picture Show – fascinated from a young age, watching people having fun not bothered about gender
Mars Attacks – drawing from the fashion of the 1960’s as it was so camp and glamorous, finding
Would draw exaggerated women as a child, with big breasts, long hair and massive heels. It became a form of escapism for her as a young trans child not yet knowing what that was. She explains it was a way to express the femininity she craved and lacked as a child.
Kitsch bold aesthetics are found both in her performative and sculptural work. Mocks the misogynistic ‘role’ of a 1960’s housewife.
I aim to use her as a reference point when developing the character of Angel.
Twitter politics regarding LGBTQ+ issues being taught in school inspired a thought process of reflection. Considering the confusion growing up gay in a time when the subject was very much not spoken about and the implications of not meeting the gendered expectations in our society.