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Denise Prince Photography

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 Western Culture has 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 for privilege.


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 affluent, 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 like children. Madeline is forever trapped in Fantasy. And her life has passed by.





The Lollipop Girls Stumble on the Hard Earth
16mm film for Object Lessons


Signifying image and chain projections
(right and left)


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