UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Just Passing Through : the performed female body in western conventions Prudhomme, Julia


This thesis paper is the supplementary text for the Masters of Fine Arts thesis exhibition Just Passing Through. This exhibition explores the mediums of photo and video in immersive installation. Thematically Just Passing Through focuses upon the representation of the female body as scripted by social conventions, through a self-conscious process of layering image and object. Procedurally this work layers image and object through self-portraiture to embody certain distorted female enigmas. These enigmas are representations distorted by rules of etiquette, ritualized ceremonies, and popular culture stereotypes. The resulting constructed female characters walk the line between individually imagined reality and socially constructed fiction held within collective memory; a notion of true fiction asserted by Avital Ronell's fable as being a fiction concerned with origins hidden in full view of society. This exhibition explores themes of socially constructed fiction and collective memory, in part, through the fabrication of a composite character named LuLu Miller. Lulu haunts and/or exists in hotel rooms along Okanagan Valley’s Highway 97. She is composed in a “…game of finding meaning in coincidence” . Her name primarily connects the disparate parts: LuLu Miller. Her stories are derived from my maternal Great-Grandmother’s travel diaries to British Columbia in the 1960’s, archival media from a meticulously documented first-degree husband murder trial in 1965 San Bernardino Valley, Californina and, the dialogue in Harold Pinter's stage play, The Birthday Party, 1960. Reality and fiction mingle to parallel the nostalgic experience in order to express the imposed and assumed modalities of being a women in the early 21st century – one that is still constrained by a late modernist ideal of the feminine.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada