by Mary Magsamen
Each quarter, Aurora Curator Mary Magsamen highlights an artist from Aurora's diverse membership to showcase their work and introduce you to the Aurora congregation.
This season, our featured member is Britt Ragsdale
. Britt Ragsdale is a visual artist currently living and working in Houston, Texas. Through photography, video and performance, she creates artwork based around social anthropology and the psychoanalysis of pretense. She earned a BFA from Lamar University and an MFA in Photography and Digital Media from the University of Houston. Ragsdale is a 2012 Houston Arts Alliance Individual Artist Grant recipient. She is also co-founder of the artist-run mobile exhibition space, The Lens Capsule, in addition to teaching at Houston Community College and consulting at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA). To learn more about Britt, please visit: www.brittragsdale.com
Scream Queens from Britt Ragsdale on Vimeo.
Scream Queens is an 8-channel video installation in which actresses lip-synch the screams of female protagonists from various famous horror movies spanning over sixty years.
Films such as Psycho, The Haunting, Black Sunday, and Halloween shaped the term “scream queen”, the horror movie equivalent of the “damsel-in-distress”. However, it is impossible to say that media created the persona. It is more likely a society-developed role popularized through media and too often assumed as a public identity. It is not reflective of women, but a pretense that is expected and adopted by many... a facade that is acted out in the public sphere.
In Scream Queens, actresses quickly switch this role on and off, transitioning from a contrived terror to a more accustomed state of composure. The lip-synching emphasizes that the terror is a fraud - an act. This video installation not only reveals the guise of acting, but calls into question female roles in both a humorous and disconcerting manner.
DUET (faithless) from Britt Ragsdale on Vimeo.
Check out some of the past artists who have been featured in the Archive for Curator's Corner.