A collaboration with 5 artists, The Backstage serves as an actual backstage. Using character stereotypes pulled from particular female archetypes, the artists collaborated to create a film they never planned to shoot. Filling the space with the remnants of the film shoot, each scene revolves around an unnamed, anonymous character. The artists presented two rooms: a stage room filled with 5 different sets (Workplace) and a backstage area for the props, research information, used materials, and craft services (The Backstage).
The Backstage fuses real props, materials and inspiration used to make Workplace with fabricated materials for the non-existent film. The backstage room is a dual representation for not only the props that would have been used during the film but also what the individual artists brought into the installations. The room serves as a gateway to what is behind the scenes and behind the minds of the collaborating artists.
As a teaser for this exhibition, we created a show card that reflected the essence of our intent. Here we played with reality and the ideas of performance by dressing up as hyper-sexual, hyper-feminine characters.
Believing the Lie
Throughout the exhibition, we wanted the visitors to question whether the film shoot was real or not. Here you can see our potential "cast" decisions. We saw auditions for several actresses throughout the exhibition to create the illusion of transparency; however, we fabricated the whole thing thus continuing the convoluted pretense.
Throughout the Backstage, visitors could find different ephemera from concept, construction, showcase, craft services, etc. Yet, users didn't know some of the objects were fabricated specifically as an illusion supporting the idea of the exhibition. To plant the seeds of doubt, we needed convincing evidence to the contrary. For example, here is an initial concept sketch of outdoor set Liz and I created as well as some reference photos of rocks for our prop structure in the middle of the set. Though the sketch was real, the rock photos were printed after we built the actual rock structure. Both could be found in the Backstage. Our production needed to be difficult for users to pick apart what was and wasn't real within the exhibition.