Monday, 1 November 2010

Halloween Dress

It was Halloween over the weekend, we had a little moving in party in aid of the celebration.  I don't think i have ever worked as hard on a fancy dress costume. When i dress up for a party i always like to make the costume somewhat responsive to recent news and i thought that the bankers huge bonus's would do, as we had a couple of accountants as guests. I dressed as a 90's fat-cat/ clown (fat man pants sewn together with a hula hoop and grey suit trousers, topped off with a waistcoat, braces and hilarious tiger pants. Well i thought they were hilarious... - I also had the traditional 90's clown face paint and wig with red converse trainers- all topped off with a bowler hat) Unfortunately my costume wasn't too scary, well it was to the people that couldn't recognise me.

It's quite obvious to say that the performative side of people reveals itself to you in a party like this. You always get surprises with costumes- who dresses up and who doesn't- and of course who goes a little too far with acting the part. I think our party was a little sensationalised for a normal fancy dress party- but then with a room full of art students- what do you expect. Joe dressed as a Scout (Don't ask how this is Halloween related) and spent all night getting his scout guide out of his top pocket to give 'good scouting advice' to our guests. Also we had a guest dressed as a 'dead gym instructor' who insisted on doing aerobic dances with everyone (Using her equipment that she had bought along). Personally i love dressing up- I think that speaks for itself in my work and i don't think it is a terrible thing to say that wanting to make performance art stems from fancy dress. It was the game i played everyday at playschool, i wore a curly wig and dressed  as super girl- onto primary school i used to love going into the playroom which always had a theme. Once it was a hospital (This is the only time i can remember being told that i couldn't do something because I'm a girl- the teacher made me pass over the doctors outfit and put the nurse one on instead!) It has very strong links for me about what is fun (and to an extent educational) in my life- You learn a lot from being in others shoes- a 'costume' is going to indent how you feel, influence what you do,  influence the ways others act around you.

During my Gap year before i went to Art college, it was my ambition for the year to try and work in as many different jobs as possible- which i did; from security guard to estate agent to dinner lady to post lady, plus more-  and the thing that was always apparent to me was how polite or not people were to you. As a receptionist i was told to dress smartly and people didn't acknowledge me outside of the office at all, yet when i was a post-lady, everyone that i walked past said 'good Morning' whether i was working or not. I could start to ramble on about the Authority of clothing, but i think if you want to know more- you could look at this social experiment-
Milgram study: Which was a study done to prove that uniforms can be used as a way of social control. There was also a situation in a school in Germany, The Third Wave- where in a participatory way a teacher taught how fascism can be bred  from a minority influence situation- this started just by asking for everyone to dress alike- in  the same white shirt and actually ended very badly. there is a very good film based on this story called 'The Wave'

Anyway, moving on from fascism and back to the Halloween Party- It went very well in the end, everyone left very late and the house was a mess- but after tidying up the next day I travelled home where i then went trick or treating with my sister- obviously the other side of Halloween- for children it's the one time of the year where you can knock on your neighbours door, give them a fright and then ask them for sweets without your mum telling you off. I like to where a mask for Trick or Treating (I have a very scary looking cow mask), although the adults never really like it, i think it's because they cant be bothered to dress up- however, you get a laugh from children if they answer the door- and as i know half of the kids in the neighbourhood because of rainbows/ brownies they have begun to expect it. My sister likes me dressing up too. Well, i presume. I don't really ask her permission.

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