Alex McQuilkin, Unbreak My Heart, a new video, is currently on view at the Marvelli Gallery project room. As the name states, the Toni Braxton song from 1996 is the featured soundtrack as Alex uses her own body in a strip tease that results in her body blending into/becoming the surrounding environment.
The video commences with the female figure, blond her shirt bloodied where her heart should be. The music starts and the imagery of school girl youth, similar to that of Sue de Beer, (twirling music-box ballerina, poster of kitties) is prominent in an otherwise busy wallpapered background.
She moves, wearing white gloves, straddling a chair, and performs a strip tease. But as each item of clothing is removed her body disappears. The idea of empowerment and loss dominate within the scope of the screen and the image is both disturbing and whimsical as I couldn’t help but hum Unbreak My Heart unconsciously throughout the duration of the piece. The climax and also the end finds the artist just a head, disembodied from her physical self. We can only assume the body is both present and absent as a signifier of female sexuality and the phantasmagorical enchantment that sometimes results in a broken heart.
Unbreak My Heart is on view at Marvelli Gallery until April 9th, 2011.
— Posted from my iPhone