Friday night, after a judo lesson, I ran home insistently to be on time to crash on the couch together with my dad and a nice cup of tea. We watched Baantjer, a Dutch crime show, every single Friday. Fifteen years later, and not that much is changed. Every evening I can walk downstairs, just to catch my dad on that same couch, with a different crime show on TV. A couch we spend so many hours watching these dead bodies that are passing by. Hours will pass by, and so does the many shows on our screen. And I know. For a lot of people, this is not the way to enjoy their evening. But for me, it’s like coming home.
Seeing dead girls, washed up on the beach, in the mortuary or in their own home, are all too familiar, while an English study (2017) showed that 71% of the victims of murder are men. Then why do we see so many women die in movies and TV shows? Do they want to show the power of a man, at a time when women have more important roles in society? Or do they want to scare us?
In Dead Darlings (the book) you will find 206 film stills of dead women from movies and TV shows, analyzed and compiled with 11 articles (two of those I wrote). All these women died for our entertainment. The Dead Darlings will tell you the story – the dead, the stereotypes, and the power.
For the exhibition I wanted to recreate a living room, so you could sit down and look at all the dead girls that I watched on my tv. Everything is wrapped in plastic and rope, like a dead body you want to disappear.
Was on show at the exhibition Long Story Short (2019), University of Arts Utrecht (HKU) (Utrecht, NL)
A book 24x30cm 266 pages thick filed with 206 film stills, 2019