Sandy Gibbs

Space-Girl Dance (2018)

Single channel / Digital Video / Colour / Sound

"In 1970, actress Raquel Welch starred in a video in which she, a space-age Barbarella flanked by two silver-suited males, danced and gyrated in front of a collection of huge concrete modernist sculptures that had been commissioned for the 1968 Olympics. Almost fifty years later, on a very hot day in Mexico City, I squeezed myself into a tight-fitting metallic silver bodysuit and went hunting for those very sculptures. I was on my way to restage Raquel Welch’s Space-Girl Dance (1970).

One small hitch: I can’t dance. I had managed a quick half-hour lesson two days before we left New Zealand, a lesson in which I was irrefutably outdanced by a five-year-old. But nothing had quite prepared me for the mess I’d got myself into this time. This struck me with considerable force as I lurched across a crazy Mexico City highway in my silver suit.

Strutting my stuff in full view of the passing traffic, I discovered the power of a tight silver bodysuit—even one worn by an older woman. Mexican men kept tooting their car horns as they sped past, and I swear the gap between Raquel and me got a whole lot smaller. I could feel the stardom.

A distinctive flavour of parody is prefaced in Space-Girl Dance to the point of tipping my performance over into the ridiculous—however, in this work, I was interested in investigating the potential relevance and value of parody as a tool for aiding the production of incongruity within a contemporary restaging methodology."

—Artist's statement

Other works in this series

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