Catrine Val
The female wisdom

COMMODITY FETISHISM

Film

Fashion and how it is presented in the media are dominant features of our everyday lives. They change the way we see youth and age, beauty and character, the self and femininity. As a result, the discrepancy is growing between reality and its illusion-laden construct. Superficially, Catrine Val explores in “FEM!NIST” the surface of appearances. In a variety of different stagings, she shows scenes from the life of a hybrid woman, mother and artist, drifting abruptly from one identity type to the next. The clothing, which varies with the setting, wigs and other props, was often borrowed from the artist’s children, and the picture titles systematically follow codes made up of garment size and the date the photo was taken. Who among us doesn’t struggle with his or her size as barometer of a successful lifestyle and the promise of happiness? “FEMINIST is by no means merely a post-feminist self-reflection within an individual microcosm, but functions instead as a free adaptation of Jean-Paul Sartre’s the- sis: »Man is condemned to freedom; he must rein-vent himself every day.«