Running Bride

Digital transfer of Super 8 film, 2010-2011

This film presents one character, a bride, running across and through differing American geographies wearing a traditional white wedding dress. She is alone, which begs the question: From what is she running? Or is she running to something? Without cars, architecture or other contextual markers, the film floats in time – it could have occurred yesterday, or 50 years ago. There is no dialogue as the bride travels through varying landscapes, and tackles difficult terrain as she continues to run…and run…and run (with an occasional rest to ponder or take a breath). Without apparent beginning or end, the effort expended far outweighs any particular goal or destination. The point invariably becomes the act of running itself, which becomes magnified and exaggerated to a humorous extent. It could be determination…or escape.

The bride’s continual journey is reinforced by the landscapes themselves, with backdrops like the Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater Monument, Arches National Park, Mesa Verde, the Great Lakes, corn fields in the Midwest and areas around the Colorado Rockies. I’m interested in making a relationship between our culture’s ideas of marriage and some of the places that have a stronghold in our collective consciousness; parks, monuments, etc. that we deem worthy of protecting as part of our national identity.

These locations require a journey and bear a kind of iconic image of Americana that one recognizes on postcards and reproductions – even if they have never been to that place. This is a fitting metaphor for the bride, who recognizes the weight of marriage without “being there”. The film was shot with a hand held Super 8 camera, an additional reference to the nostalgia connected with ideas of matrimony, and the existence of family movies often found having been discarded in attics and basements. I have fond memories of seeing such films of my own family when I was young girl.

       
     
Parlor Project Short (22 minutes)

Digital video, 2006

This is one work from the larger “Parlor Project” that reveals some of the intimate interactions that occur within small neighborhood beauty parlors. Warmth, tenderness and nostalgia are woven into the spaces of these parlors, which are so often located within aged storefronts, tucked into neighborhoods, or hidden in strip malls.

I am fascinated by the activities that occur inside of these spaces – colors, objects and people who inhabit them and the unique intimacy that is framed by curlers, hairdryers, graying hair and the beauty of wrinkled hands. Within the seemingly simple act of the weekly routine of getting a roller set is a much larger impact of the interaction and relationships fostered here.

This compilation of video clips shows these lovely women as they are, in their own voices, in a space they are simultaneously vulnerable, yet comfortable.

       
     
Mediations on a Roller Set (excerpts from video installation)

Three channel video installation, 2006

This work is part of the larger “Parlor Project” and this clip an excerpt of varying views of this three channel video installation. The work was installed in a large and enclosed darkened space, with three large projections and their accompanying sound (each distinct, and heard when standing in front of each screen).

The looping video that appears on each screen references a different stage in the “roller set” - the washing, drying and styling of the hair, a style that was maintained and then refreshed on a weekly basis. I was so captivated by aspects of touch and tenderness, and the intimacy revealed in what some might consider a rather mundane process.