The work of L.A.Raeven deals with the ideal image of beauty; The image of female beauty in fashion and media, created by the dominant western society. People are losing their identity and don’t see the beauty of their own image anymore. In fact, people admire the western ideal and start to dislike their own identity.
Sun Mei & Lu Yan are obsessed with their appearance, in particular with their body proportions. Like many other Chinese women and men, they want to be taller. The western ideal of the perfect body has found it’s way into modern China and to have the longer legs that guarantee a successful life, young people decide to undergo a very painful leg lengthening operation. Lu Yan’s legs have both been broken and a steel pin was inserted on each side of the bone. Attached to a stretching devise, the pins had to be tightened on a daily base, despite the unbearable pain this gave her. In The Height of Vanity the L.A.Raeven sisters follow Lu Yan and her friend Sun Mei in their path towards a perfect body. The film covers the subject of taking control over your own body, of making a life changing choice. The influence of the media on women is very strong, but even stronger is the influence women have on each other. If your friends make themselves ‘better’ you are seduced to do the same. It is an influence that goes together with feelings as jealousy and guilt, and with social codes which results in exclusion or inclusion in ‘the group’. The Height of Vanity, 2008, video installation, photographs and files
Exhibition: 06/09/08 – 11/10/08
Ellen de Bruijne PROJECTS
1016 LZ Amsterdam