Behaviour Festival Launch: Credible Likeable Superstar Rolemodel and Sister @ The Arches
Behaviour Festival 2014 launches with Bryony Kimmings' Credible Likeable Superstar Rolemodel (****) and Rosana and Amy Cade's Sister (***).
Aided by her niece Taylor, Kimmings tackles current rolemodels for children, particularly girls between six and twelve, known as 'tweens.' Backed up by data, she proceeds to explain how marketing departments target this age group, while the children mimic the behaviours they see. It is made obvious how the portrayal of a popstar can influence the psyche of these girls and the ideals they value while growing up.
The duo attempt to wage war (quite literally, in a live action sequence) on the system, invent a dance, invent a popstar, and finally hit a harrowing situation with Kimmings simulating pulling out Taylor's eyes and covering her ears to protect her from this oversexualised, overconsuming world that demands women look and behave a certain way. It quickly becomes obvious that this extreme, almost brutal censorship is no way to go about things, since the world and its influences begin to seep in through the cracks. But then, how is it possible to deal with it without being corrupted and losing the self?
Credible Libeable Superstar Rolemodel is a long title and sometimes appears to drag slightly, yet nonetheless, the conclusions it comes to are quite garish. After all, if young people make the future, is it necessary for them to be packaged a certain way with the perpetuation of self-destructive behaviour?
On the other hand, Sister seems more of an introspective work about the relationship between Rosana Cade and her sister, Amy. One is a lesbian, the other a sex worker. The two examine their differences, and their similarities, trying to live in each other's shoes for a little while, perhaps to understand each other further.
The work itself begins with a lapdance, with the two scantily clad women removing what little they are wearing. Most of it continues in the nude and can come across as particularly honest, perhaps due to the rather direct way of addressing the audience, and the occasional video flashbacks to the sisters' childhood. While quite long-winded at times, Sister reveals a certain playfulness between the siblings and also touches lightly on the issues some feminists have with the sex industry. Through this, it reveals contradictions between the various feminisms that exist, although it doesn't go into particular depth about each one.
Admittedly, it's difficult to say whether the purpose of the work is simply to explore the relationship between the two sisters or make broader generalisations about accepting and understanding each other. It seems slightly unfocused as a complete work, yet it is certain the nudity is not intended to be sexual or shocking, but rather an indication of vulnerability and comfort in one's own skin.
While they inhabit and externalise different realms of feminist ideology and human behaviour, both Credible Likeable Superstar Rolemodel and Sister make for quite a dynamic start to Behaviour 2014.
Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model