Kristen Puhl

Student Artist-in-Residence 2002-03
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Artist Statement



Women are often defined by the rituals they endure, such as cleansing, depilation, beautification, meal planning, preparing, cleaning and entertaining. I am interested in how the ideals related to each of these rituals change from generation to generation. I cannot help but find absurdity in the fact that there is a tremendous amount of pressure on women to conform to ideals that will eventually change.

I have used the medium of digital video in order to capture the redundancy of ritual. The surrealistic narrative created, enhanced by illogical-seeming jump cuts, serves to elevate the notion of absurdity related to the importance placed on superficial feminine ideals. It is my belief that these ideals construct femininity as the artificial product of images, cultural expectations and ingrained behaviors (such as ways of dressing, walking, or using makeup), and belies a true essence of femininity that transcends cultural and historical boundaries.