“Sleeping Beauties” (2009)
Dimension: 10’ x 12’ x 12’
Video and Sound Installation
Materials: cotton and synthetic textiles, lace, pins and needles, fishing wire, speakers, laptop, projected
edited film from the Disney classic Sleeping Beauty.
Location: Concordia University
Each of us has at least one favourite bedtime story from childhood, one that our parents had to repeat over and over to satisfy our greedy imaginations, one that we never tired of and came to identify with ourselves, one that probably faded and was locked in the attic of our memory. Fairy tales are therefore bedtime stories of the collective consciousness. They persist in the cultural memory because they interpret crises of the human condition that are common to all of us. The omnipresence of myths and fairy tales in so many aspects of culture such as poetry, music, dance, painting, sculpture, drama, fiction and film suggests that these stories describe and narrate the structures of a collective as well as individual experience. The fact that most fairy tales embody elements associated with the archetype “feminine” points to the possibility that they recapitulate a view of reality that is rooted in the determination of sex roles. At the universal level of meaning, Sleeping Beauty is most a symbol of passivity and by extension a metaphor for the spiritual condition of women – cut off from autonomy and transcendence, from self-actualization and ethical capacity in a male-dominated milieu.