Tumbled Frame

ART PRESS On this journey of discovery Rose Garrard takes the viewer in search of 'who we might become' through exploration of some existing female role-models. From the Television Studio we not only pass through the frame which surrounds the TV image itself, but through the gilt picture frame enclosing the passive artist's model to the psychological 'frames' of mind which affect our way of seeing or being. womankind. This voyage through women from history and mythology, through situations from memory, fantasy, visualises the difficulties women face in moving beyond the restricted roles these figures have traditionally perpetuated. Moving down corridors of power and penetrating the crumbling cultural facade, reveals the original model of Pandora opening her box and causing the downfall of man, and the model of the Virgin Mother whose sexual purity is impossible to emulate. By appearing as Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland the artist expresses the inner stress of these limited roles and the feelings of inadequacy behind the idealised image which may have contributed to these women's deaths. Hope is glimpsed as women artists from the past emerge briefly from the darkness, posing as their own models, and when the more positive aspects of Pandora as 'the perfect fusion of all things' are recovered in a reworking of the Pandora Myth. Meanwhile ... back in the studio, having the power to control the female image shifts continually between camera-man, artist. model, and the disembodied voice of the fe·male producer.
Anna Ridley, press release, Annalogue TV Productions Ltd 1985

A woman is a woman is a woman - to paraphrase Gertrude Stein once again to the point and for obvious reasons - but the reality of womanhood is totally different from the symbolic representations of woman in art history. The images of women offered to us, such as the Madonna, Pandora, Judy Garland and Monroe, have acquired their weight through the artist's approach, through what he wants (or wanted) to express vial in woman. In an attempt to escape from this confined image  and to meet the need to give it a new and more personal weight, the woman artist - in this case Rose Garrard - takes over the role of the models. She feels ill at ease in this strait jacket and the craving for a wider range of alternatives becomes steadily more acute. No innocent Madonna, no sex symbol designed merely for pleasure, but the mythic weight of Pandora provides a key: she denied humanity its gift of paradise, but endowed it with a more realistic world instead.
SB Women's Video Festival, Dortmund, Germany

With reference to mythology and history, Garrard's video is a critical survey of the social representations of women. Garrard offers a brilliant reworking of the misogynous myth of Pandora and examines the modern context which gave rise to the self destructive idols - Monroe and Garland. Television screens are used as re-framing devices to suggest a psychological 'frame' of mind that also limits perception.
Montreal Festival of Women's Film and Video catalogue, June 1987

Broadcast nationally on Channel 4 Television, shown widely at Video Festivals both here and abroad

24 minute video tape with sound, written and performed by the artist. Produced by Anna Ridley

Artist's work for Channel 4 Television with Annalogue TV Productions Ltd.