TV Dinners

Medium: improvised live performance to camera and invited audience; with TV monitor and cardboard cut-outs
Date: 1985
Duration: 20 minutes
Location: Typography Studio, Clarence Place, Gwent College of Higher Education, Newport, Wales

A series of moves, that extended into the public sphere my previous body of work in the video studio, for which I’d performed alone to camera with my maternal grandmother Bid’s underwear and net curtains, using the live feed to the screen as a mirrored ‘other’ to evolve the piece. For a second iteration, I captured sequences of video frames as 35mm colour transparencies, which I then bi-packed and re-copied to create multi-layered imagery for a further iteration; also projecting the slides onto myself whilst filming. This work began shortly after my grandmother had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, after having suffered increasing dementia problems for the previous few years. As she was now being looked after in a care home, I acquired several of the dresses she had made but could no longer wear, material waiting to be sewn into useful things, and some small, personal items such as a pink plastic lady’s razor.

Production notes
I wore a stretchy lace vest belonging to my grandmother, who was much smaller than me and about six inches shorter in height, and a frilled waitressing apron tied around my waist. That’s it, and bare feet, and some cardboard cut-outs I’d made - larger than life size replicas of TV ready-meals for one, and women’s made-up mouths, taken from advertisements.

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