Published by MW Editions / The Fabric Workshop and Museum. Foreword by Susan Lubowsky Talbott. Interview by Hal Foster.
In Poorly Watched Girls, New York–based artist Suzanne Bocanegra (born 1957) explores the ways that popular entertainment theatricalizes women in trouble. For the immersive video Valley, she recreated Judy Garland’s wardrobe test for Valley of the Dolls (1967). Garland was fired from the film but famously kept the clothing from the test. Here, eight notable women wear replicas of the wardrobe: poet Anne Carson, choreographer Deborah Hay, artist Joan Jonas, singer Alicia Hall Moran, author and actor Tanya Selvaratnam, actor Kate Valk, artist Carrie Mae Weems and ballerina Wendy Whelan. Dialogue of the Carmelites, inspired by Poulenc’s 1956 opera based on the true story of a convent of nuns executed during the French Revolution, incorporates music by composer David Lang, performed by Caroline Shaw. In La Fille, Bocanegra uses theatrical sets, costumes and collage to capture the essence of the 18th-century ballet La Fille mal Gardée (The Poorly Guarded Girl), a comic portrayal of young love between two peasants.