Following my research, I tried out some initial experimental performance work on my own, using the unused beauty products I have accumulated over the past few years.
I wanted to show a difference between the natural and superficial, so decided to experiment out on the moors – somewhere which is practically unspoilt by man, with little human intervention to the landscape. Therefore, this area would be in complete contrast with the man-made products used to create superficial beauty. Furthermore, being away from the city would highlight the element of segregation used in ritual.
In the film, I placed the beauty products on the grassland and started to draw the Yoni symbol around the tubes and bottles using their contents*.
The concept behind this idea was to make a satirical statement about how it could be said that youth and beauty have become idealized and the products idolized – taking on a ‘holy grail’ aura, so to speak – the antidote to the aging process. Therefore the Yoni symbol was used to ridicule the idea of these items being a necessity or ‘sacred’ to a women if she wishes to be valued in society.
Helanie Moore, 2013, Film and Stills of Initial Performance Experimentation:
On watch the film back, I felt negatively critical of the piece for a number of reasons. Firstly, I felt unconfident of my appearance – which is quite shallow, considering I am trying to make a statement about the expectations placed on how one should appear. Secondly, it was not obvious what the products were and even if it had been, the use of beauty products was perhaps too literal. Thirdly, the end result seemed quite ugly – this could however, be a positive thing, as it is ironic that this products used to prevent aging and promising beauty, have become something of an eyesore on the natural environment. Also, the weather wasn’t particularly great on the day of filming, which left the piece looking quite washed out and dull.
I will need to consider a way of presenting my ideas in a less literal way. I will also need to experiment more in my performance, to gain more confidence in my actions, which will hopefully make a more believable piece – instead of looking awkward and uncomfortable.