Description (in English): 

 "In this hypertext, I interrogate the language, imagery, and ideologies of cosmetics advertisements and related texts. Hypertext as a form lends itself to unorthodox juxtapositions, particularly through linkages based on associative logic (e.g., metaphors, puns). I invoke the feminist understanding that "The Personal Is Political," combining autobiographical reflections with an analysis of the discourse and industry of cosmetics. The personal dimension includes elements from my unconscious (following in the Surrealist tradition of automatic writing).

"The political dimension includes an examination of the political economy of beauty. Both levels include many kinds of images, such as family photographs, cosmetics advertisements, images from cosmetics industry journals, and images from books on makeovers and modeling. These elements are juxtaposed, sometimes in conversation, sometimes in "collision," to borrow a term Sergei Eisenstein uses to describe his method of montage in film. I do not approach my investigation of subjectivity, media messages, and political economy directly through theoretical analysis, but indirectly, through associative connections (reasoning through dream logic). In this text, I use the analogy of the cosmetics "makeover" as the frame that holds together my information. I take the conventions of the beauty makeover and apply them to the face, to the self (identity, experience), and to society as a whole. For each "step" of the makeover, I address both the literal instructions for making over a woman's face, as well as more figurative applications that come through reading this makeover process metaphorically. The thematic focus of the work is rooted in my urge to rethink the social--I ask, through the construction of this polyvalent (hyper)text: can we begin to invent a materially grounded utopian vision through the lens of contemporary female beauty?"

(Source: 2002 State of the Arts gallery)

Screen shots: 
screenshot crop
screenshot crop
The permanent URL of this page: 
Record posted by: 
Scott Rettberg