Bride Fight, 2006Two vintage white silk bridal gowns,
two tiaras, two veils, two pairs of shoes,
two pairs of gloves,hairpiece, garters, panties,
faux-pearl necklace, monofilament,
fishing tackle and turnbuckles
Approx. 11 1/2 x 18 x 16 feet
Collection of The Lever House, NYC
“Bride Fight” is an installation of two bridal gowns suspended between floor and ceiling with heavy-duty fishing line and hardware. The gowns are classic and traditional, but these “brides” are posed in combat, shredding one another’s garments as each simultaneously explodes from within. Employing imagery from abstract expressionism, Italian futurism, figurative sculpture and cinematic computer animation, the tropes of the bridal ensemble are shattered. Within the tension of hundreds of monofilaments are tulle veils, long lace gloves, garters, shoes, hair pieces, pearls, beads, and silk, meticulously frozen in space. The loaded metaphor of battling brides in mid-explosion is an ecstatic expression of liberation and transformation, while vestiges of tradition remain recognizable, and intact.
“Bride Fight” developed from a series of installations called “Exploding Couture,” begun in 1999, in which I suspend women’s dresses in space. Each dress portrays a view of a conventional feminine stereotype in a dramatic stop-action explosion. The “explosions” are constructed to feel as if the internal forces of the figure are so powerful that the garment literally blows off, as if it is outgrowing its stereotype. Ecstasy, strength, humor and release are emotions I associate with the expression of these sculptures.
Other works of mine, such as the G-Force series, in which feminine
Under garments are transformed into jet-fighter planes that have flown en masse through such public spaces as the Rodin Sculpture Court of the Brooklyn Museum and the indoor park of Phillip-Morris’ New York headquarters. In another series of sculptures called “Galaxy”, I manipulate lingerie again, infusing the undergarments with resin to produce science-fiction-like creatures that allude to self-sufficient reproductive systems and to self-propulsion.
“Bride Fight” is the most recent progression out of these bodies of work. The tableau represents a manifestation of anxiety and humor, memorializing an active state of transformation of tradition.