D’EST at BeFem Festival: Postcosmetic META-morphoses
Posted on: 23.11.19
Image Credits: Phuong Linh Nguyen, Trùng Mù (Endless, Sightless), 2018. Video still, single-channel video (HD), 9’ (looping), color, sound, 16:9, courtesy: Singapore Art Museum
Video screening with Lene Markusen and Phuong Linh Nguyen
Date: December 8, 2019
Location: KC Grad, Braće Krsmanović 4, Belgrade 11000, Serbia, 7:15–8pm
At this year’s BeFem Festival and thanks to Miona Bogović’s dedication*, D’EST: A Multi-Curatorial Online Platform for Video Art from the Former ‘East’ and ‘West’ will present Postcosmetic META-morphoses, a video screening about beauty and gender norms and their global toxic bonds. On December 8th, 2019, in Belgrade, filmmaker and D’EST collaborator Lene Markusen will introduce an excerpt of her film Sankt – Female Identities in the Post-Utopian (2017) in correspondance with Trùng Mù (Endless, Sightless) (2018) by the artist Phuong Linh Nguyen. Trùng Mù (Endless, Sightless) was specifically chosen from the platform’s screening chapter #3: COSMOS COSMETICS: Unresting Memoryscapes and Corpofictions, curated by Miona Bogović, Suza Husse and Suzana Milevska. In the course of this video screening program two vastly different beauty salon scenes from differing parts of the world become the focus of attention: one in Sankt Petersburg, Russia, the other one represents the labor environments of women from the Vietnamese diaspora in the West. Whilst Markusen’s main protagonist, the cool and pragmatic PhD candidate Lena from Norway, gets a doll-like Russian makeover under the supervision of her friend Flarida, in Nguyen’s film two seemingly trans-human bodies engage in a skin lightening laser procedure: one as a passive client and the other as a feminized service provider. These two processes of transformation are transcultural performances of ‘beauty labor’ related to context-bound norms of gender, race, class, abilities and potentials. Through taking a glimpse into two exemplary beauty treatments, Postcosmetic META-morphoses touches upon imported and exported meta-ideas of beauty, glamor and femininity without remaining silent about their ideological and oppressive outgrowths. In conversation with the local audience, Markusen will follow the lead of global cosmetic studios as well as the matrices and morphoses of their services.
*This video screening program was developed by Lene Markusen and film director Miona Bogović. Bogović is an active member of the D’EST curatorial team and has made this screening event possible through her network, expertise and commitment.