SINGLE WHITE FEMALE
In this city
on this street
in this apartment,
an ad for a roommate bought a stranger into ........... life
someone who shares
someone who cares
someone who borrows
someone who steals
someone who would kill to be her.
Image taken by Mia Karolina Rogersdotter Gran
Casting Instructions 'To Become Someone Else'
Stare into the mirror and chant: Object of objection, become a new reflection three times. Then wave your hand over your face while focusing in the mirror.
As the visitors enter, they are greeted by two humans in all-in-one white jumpsuits (this could have been due to a nuclear spill, or some kind of apocalyptic disease.) They present you with a cookie
This immediately ties the viewer into the environment of a ritualistic act. There is a melody on repeat behind the sound of a woman’s voice discussing the nutritional value of certain foods as well as bodily matter. A small side table is covered with mint and dark chocolate and contributes to the sweet smell of strawberries and yogurt which become more pungent the further you walk into the space. On the far end of the room a woman is lying on a large plinth covered in fur. She is wearing a silk peach dress and is surrounded by boxes of fortune cookies. She rips open the gold wrapper, cracks open the cookie, and reads the prophecy before throwing the discarded cookie to the floor. She has a remote control for three televisions she switches between, controlling the sound and the visual. On one television the 80s hit True by Spandau Ballet plays, the visual is of a photograph from a tourist company of somebody skating on a lake in the north of Sweden. The second video has the audio Dancing with Myself by Billy Idol and the visual is of a woman standing in front of endless televisions in an electronic superstore which display tourist attractions. The third video is a child’s animation copying the music video Wrecking ball by Miley Cyrus.
Elsewhere in the room a woman in a beautiful silk peach dress similar to the one used for the video Crème de Co stands on the top of a ladder and drops a squelchy mixture of raspberries, blueberries and yogurt onto the woman crawling past her below. The crawling woman is also dressed in peach knickers and a peach shirt. She is crawling around the perimeter of a cube (a nod to Bruce Naumen’s Walking in an Exaggerated Manner Around the Perimeter of a Square). The splodge sometimes hits her directly or drops to the floor. She is trying to push a plasticine ball around the perimeter with a bright-red, large, bloated plasticine tongue which she has in her mouth. The performance continues for two hours. Plastic sheeting - the type one would use to cover-up furniture if painting or in the case of American psycho, to kill someone, is hung up all around the gallery.
Single White Female was originally taken from the 90s American movie of the same name where a woman ‘Allie’ advertises for a new flatmate. Allie begins to grow unreasonably attached to her new roommate, obsessively watching her until she begins to stalk her and try to take over her life. Women, as referenced in sociologist Patricia Hill Collin's (1991) study on western ideals of beauty, have been encouraged to possess the four cardinal virtues: “piety, purity, submissiveness and domesticity” (p.71) Transgression of those elements are condemned throughout film and popular culture. Another interesting title/headline/cultural trope that references 'White Woman' is 'Missing White Woman Syndrome' – a phrase used by social scientists and media commentators to describe the extensive media coverage of missing person cases involving young, white, middle class women. The missing white women syndrome exposes the racial hierarchy built into the cultural imagery of the west. Part of the desire to make a work like this is to pick apart some of these biases, and examine how we too add to them. With Single White Female, there is the feeling of a strange and possibly murderous malaise mixed with erotic experience. Galaxy advert seduction juxtaposed with this leaking, crawling woman. The clothes and poses look like they are straight out of pre-Raphaelite paintings. Yet the women are tearing open fortune cookies WITH THEIR TEETH.
Single White Female (2016) exhibition catalogue