Love, Life-Support & the Pursuit of Marriage

Wrapped in Plastic(2002-2006)

When I first saw David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ on television, I imagined Laura Palmer as an Indian bride, who prepares for her “curfew-less night,” only to be found on her wedding day, in her sari, pale, dead and wrapped in plastic. I wanted to explore these juxtapositions: the bride as a corpse, the wedding as a crime scene, and marriage as taxidermy. Through silent film, I examine Victorian attitudes and their morbid, hysterical, and eroticized fascination with death and violence, as depicted in the scenes when the bride attempts to slit her wrists and drown herself.

Ode to Persephone (2005, RT 3:15)

Inspired by a Greek fertility myth and the role of negotiation in which women are considered the property of husbands and parents, and marriage itself is treated as a financial transaction between families. When Persephone is abducted by the King of the Underworld, her mother Demeter refuses to let anything grow, causing winter. Persephone’s story is the myth of budding and dying of nature. Since her fate causes the very existence of winter, she is enveloped in the snow, plays in the snow, and eventually marries the snow (represented by placing garlands on the snow). What intrigued me most about Persephone’s story is how fertility and frigidity are interconnected and how through her abduction and marriage—over which she had little control— Persephone was able to make it snow.

Tamales of Female Flesh (2005, RT 3:50)

“Tamales of Female Flesh” takes its title from Diego Rivera’s remark that he loved eating a lunch of female flesh wrapped in tortillas as the “tenderest young pig.” Since this video is not based on a character, but on an actual person (who has become a veritable character), I involved a greater degree of research in my work. Instead of writing the text myself, I adapted fragments of letters, paintings, photographs and biographies about Diego and Frida, and I shot the video entirely in Mexico City. The video focuses on Frida as a young wife, employing her artistry toward gaining her husband’s love and approval.