Cigarette, “Housewife”

JP Basileo

The collaboration of artists, from their different backgrounds and media, always produces an interesting and enticing result. Sarah Kinlaw, a multidisciplinary artist, and frontperson of SOFTSPOT, recently took to Cigarette’s track, “Housewife”, off their debut full-length, gush, and created a curious and wholly analytical video art-piece, about the title subject. Directed, edited and performed by Kinlaw, the video was filmed in one shot by Jonathan Campolo (also of SOFTSPOT, and PILL), in Kinlaw’s home state of North Carolina, taking us through a dance interpretation of the “every-day of the housewife.” As the opening chords are calmly struck, Kinlaw enters what is presumably the front door of her home, turning on the light and dutifully taking off her shoes. An elaborate dance ensues, finding its own rhythm, be it sometimes manic and hurried, among the hushed sound of the track.

As she takes us flittering through the rooms of the house, we experience a series of costume changes, perhaps those “expected” of the housewife, changing from her frilly outer garb into a nightgown, then into an unseen husband’s suit jacket, then a robe. The dance is beautiful and melancholy, always inviting us to look closer at the odd scenes which they surround. Following her into a bedroom strobe light we can see Kinlaw putting on makeup, “prettying herself,” and putting on sunglasses before indecisively, hastily running to the dining room to light candles. She dons a mermaid-ish blue-green wig first, introducing a previously unseen side of herself, and then goes to leave out the back patio. But she can’t. The action then stops and reverses on itself, following her backwards through all her movement through the house, sucking her back into her life as a household item. But it doesn’t get tired. It’s like we’re seeing her in a new light all over, with a new respect, knowing this buried self that almost came to fruition, though it very much seems she’s fated to repeat these actions again and again, forever.

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