The Lollipop Girls Stumble on the
Hard Earth is a commentary on the
ubiquitous, commercialized fantasies of youth framed for us by the media.
With references to classic childhood literature, the visual language of ready-to-wear
(fashion) film is used to suggest that we have
been so corrupted by commercialism that memory, identity, the very experience
of oneself has been forever reordered.
Young women lie in each
of twelve twin beds that a Miss Clavel like figure (inspired by the storybook Madeline) watches over. Longing for a
return to the naive freedom of childhood, they are instead trapped in a commercial realm.
Aware that as a child, heavily gendered toys told her what to expect
from being an adult but unaware she should resist, Madeline can no longer
separate herself from the fantasies. Her persistent visions of childhood spent
in a boarding school arenít actual memories, they are the bankrupt preference
When playing paper dolls, you put clothes over a figure in
underwear. But what of the time when the underwear are the outfit? The first
time a pubescent youth recognizes sexuality is the bridge from the conceptions
of youth to becoming an adult assigned a value in another's Desire. In The
Lollipop Girls Struggle on the Hard Earth, this takes the form of a party dress
torn off and is a ritual, a necessity performed by women who love her.
But Madeline is an adult, with a woman's desires. She leaves the
dreamy room with the twelve twin beds and seeks out the young man who has
always and forever been waiting for her. He receives her happily. Ah, the
fantasies of potency. Sexuality can be transcendent, but Desire, by nature, can
never be satisfied.
Madeline returns to her friends and they indulge in the
pleasures available to afflent, self-determined women. It is the prime of their
lives. And their privilege.
When Madeline is reminded of childhood (and perhaps the young
man she so casually discarded) now, it feels far away. What of her youthful
dreams and wishes? What can fill her Desire now that she has been free to
follow it openly? Something is missing. Madeline runs. But can she return?
Madeline finds the twelve twin beds are taken by grannies. As if
she has run in to check on them, they roll over and settle down to sleep. Just
like children. Madeline is forever
trapped in Fantasy. And her life has passed by.