Catrine Val
The female wisdom

DreamSpark

Performance Art
Project

DreamSpark, 2013-2015
The photo series DreamSpark examines the shifting gender roles of women in modern society. In our day and age, women oftentimes are faced with difficulties meeting contradictory expectations as females, mothers and professional careerists.

To investigate on the self-perception of modern working mothers, DreamSpark puts them into a situation, where these different roles are intermingled:  mothers having established professional careers are shown in their children’s room, wearing their children’s outfits. This is supplemented by another protagonist – played by myself- mirroring this multi-leveled character with uncertain identity.  In doing so, DreamSpark pursues the same approach as in FEMINIST, enriched by a dialog between the two characters, each with a distinct position on identity in conflicting societal roles.

The exploration of authenticity, done by enactment of different characters and role reversal, is a pivotal part of the concept. Every woman that poses in front of my camera, discloses much more than what is actually seen on the picture, as the staging creates its own reality. This approach tries to expose the codes of power formation in a media-based orchestration of  our society, where the physical body does not act merely as a reference for the social status, but defines our view on the person’s identity as a whole.

I am particularly interested in the question on how the protagonists situate themselves with regard to their cultural and social background, their ethnicity as well as their feminety.  With what concept, do they identify themselves and what images of self-identification are displayed to the outside world? The playground of their children becomes the stage for self-endeavor as their children’s clothes get literally blasted by an adult physique and personality. The squeezing into their own children’s clothes also acts as a symbol for the irreversibility of life and the impossibility of escaping the dull routine of everyday life.By over emphazing the core attributes of identity like age, physique or social background through mirroring, becomes apparent that behind the laboriously enacted pose lies a subversive own viewpoint the different roles embodied in daily life. The identity. Enactment is able –and I try to show this in DreamSpark –  to deliver loads of insides on real life in our modern society. It’s all imagination.