Video. HD 25″. 2009
Historical error is about the way in which physical beauty and slimness are promoted as feminine ideals instead of knowledge and freedom. I use a telephone message as a thread for the social acceptance and promotion, or censorship, of certain aspirations and conducts.
The video is divided in four parts and goes from what is repressed to what is promoted.
The first part references eagerness to attain knowledge, historically repressed for women. From the actual ban of studying to the idea that an intelligent woman is not feminine. The blue stockings are a wink to the intellectual women in the middle of the 18th century nicknamed “The Blue Stockings Society”. The book’s shadow is the search for knowledge in the quiet. The books, newspapers and teapot allude to knowledge, travelling and exchange.
The second part references the attempt to be free from physical repression. I use the controversial myth of the burning of bras in a protest in 1968 as a symbol for this.
The third part symbolizes the feminine aspirations that are actually promoted in society. The Barbie doll, even though she looks strange, actually incorporates ideals of beauty: the blind eyes of Greek statues and the black teeth of Japanese geishas. Eyes that cannot see, mouths that cannot bite. Mutilated women. Dependent women. Object women.
The last part symbolises the slavery of thinness. When the foot steps on the scale the weight goes backwards. The woman loses weight, physically and socially and ends up being a zero. A loss of weight that is both literal and metaphorical.