Construction and deconstruction of the female singer
work in collaboration with Sabin Garea
Live performance 2016
In my research, I am particularly focused on understanding the media construct that is developed around the image of the female singers, throughout different periods of time, using different kinds of media channels.
With a playful approach in my performance, I try to pose serious questions on how we experience pop culture, and how it shapes our behaviour and expectations. My work discusses how we absorb iconic models without being aware of their constructed formula.
This performance was born from a YouTube screenshot of Peggy Lee’s video ‘It’s a good day’, that is reconstructed into a three-dimensional theater set. The theater set includes all the details and buttons of the YouTube bar, but they are all present as modeled shapes applied around the video window. The time bar is made out of a transparent plastic tube that has a red ribbon inside it. The red ribbon is pulled every time a new part of the song is finished.
When performing the singer is dressed in a red dress and face covering hat that are designed according to desired and idealised female standards from the 50’s. I am trying to engage more with the reference of the video clip by trying to embody the image of a superwoman that a star had in that particular period. The music that I composed for this performance is based on critical internet comments, that discuss the way in which female contemporary singers are expected to present and expose themselves on stage.
The stage presence is an absent element in this performance, since the singer is not visible, because she performs behind a panel of the actual stage. The non-appearance of the singer in this work is my attempt to overthrow the usual construct of a musical performance in where the artist exposes herself in front of the audience. My approach on it was to raise the level of expectations of the public through increasing the mystery around the stage persona while performing. This action is meant to deprive the viewer of a model to idealise and to project their desires on.
I use the format of the YouTube frame, because YouTube became the usual media arena in where people stage them selves as if in a live performance. We have gotten so familiarized with the YouTube frame design that our entire perception of video information we consume is conditioned by these graphical signs.
The work bridges in between times, formats and stage attitudes and it embeds contradictory elements. Such as an absent performer who is usually visible in many ways or a pop melody that exists out of vulgar and critial words.