Single channel installation, HD video, colour, audio, edition of 5 + 2 AP
Dressage features a bunch of rich girls all around 12 years old – Upper Eastside Manhattan, 21st Century society ladies of the future – dressed in designer clothes and immaculately groomed. The first half of the work shows them whispering things to each other, adjusting their clothes and doing their hair and make-up with remarkable confidence and expertise in what you think might be a backstage room before a runway show. Despite the close-up, high definition presence of the camera they seem perfectly at ease, lacking any sense of awkward self-consciousness and absolutely sure of their themselves. The second part of Dressage offers a relief and deconstructive delight as a counterpoint to the initial sense of control and containment. In an action choreographed by the artist, the girls become happy vandals. They set about demolishing the furniture and fittings in the room. As their wordless destruction continues it becomes clear that they are in a room within a room, that there is no outside, no real breaking ‘free’ and that the entire scenario is an experiment or a predetermined fiction. The video ends with them simply surveying the damage and nonchalantly flicking their hair.