Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Creeptastic Art (1 day late)

I've been admiring the costumes posted here and there on the web. Nate's cousin Miriam was Little Red Riding Hood. She bought this dress when she lived in Germany and made the cape herself.

 Doesn't she look cute? I thought so too until I saw this picture and got really creeped out.
This is Miriam's cloak. She spread it out on the ground to show us the general shape.What's so creepy about a red cloak on the ground? Oh so much. Let me explain.

On our way to Maryland we made a stop in Chattanooga to visit my cousin. (I'm noticing a cousin theme.) While there we went to the Hunter Museum of American Art, and they had an exhibition of Beverly Semmes's art.

Beverly Semmes works with fabric to create oversized dresses (anywhere from 7 to 30 feet long) that pool onto the floor. They often have a period feel to them.

 On the Lake

Pink Arms, Pairs, and Bumps (detail)

Beverly Semmes's avenue into fabric installations actually began with her photography. She made the clothing that her models wore. In the exhibition that we saw most of the photographs on display were taken outdoors, in the woods.

Figure on Ground (front view)

On the Blue

So when I saw Miriam's red cloak spread out on the ground I had an immediate flashback to Beverly Semmes's photography. Bright red was obviously a very important color to her at this particular point in her career (late 1990s). And clearly these photographs are creepy with their prone, shrouded, faceless figures. The red stockings peeking out from beneath that drab cloak make me shiver.

And, as if Beverly Semmes's photography isn't creepy (in the best possible way) enough in its own right, while I was at the exhibition I could not help but recall M. Night Shyamalan's 2004 film The Village. The red, the cloaked figures alone in the woods. You get the idea. Here are some images from The Village:


And here is one last photograph by Beverly Semmes:

Are you sufficiently creeped out?

In summation, let's tally up the creepiness:

1. Cloaked figures alone in the woods: Little Red Riding Hood, Beverly Semmes's photography, The Village
2. Bright red against drab surroundings: Little Red Riding Hood, Beverly Semmes's photography, The Village
3. Scary creature who inhabits the woods: Little Red Riding Hood, The Village

This "Miriam as Little Red Riding Hood to Beverly Semmes's photography to The Village" is actually a perfect circle because I first saw The Village at Miriam's parent's house. Yes, the three shall always be inseparably and creepily connected.

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