Princess, Save Thyself

Ladies, you might not have realized it back when you were toddling around in cartoon-character underwear, but fairy tales were originally written to scare you. They were warnings and cautionary tales, and unfortunately, most of them still carried with them the fears and prejudices of an earlier age. Think about it — who’s the heroine? Snow White — pure as the driven snow. Cinderella — obedient doormat. Sleeping Beauty — she’s not even conscious! All beautiful, young virgins passively waiting for a man to come rescue them. And the villains? Evil queens. Evil stepmothers. Wicked witches. Even evil, stepmother, witch-queen hybrids. They’re old and they’re powerful, so they must be evil. Lisa Rockford has turned such cliché symbolism on its head with her exhibition “She Monsters: A Sideshow.” On display in the Project Room at the Art & Culture Center of Hollywood from Saturday through June 5, “She Monsters” makes a mockery of “notions of glamour, virtue, innocence, and gender.” A venom-spewing dilophosaurus has a beautiful Barbie-esque head complete with a blond page-girl flip. What looks like a tarted-up Betsy Wetsy stands atop a pile of bones flexing muscles He-Man would be jealous of. Femininity, girlhood games, and princess power are turned inside out and on their heads and maybe made a bit more empowering in the process. It's $4 to $7 during normal exhibit hours at the Art & Culture Center of Hollywood (1650 Harrison St., Hollywood). Visit artandculturecenter.org, or call 954-921-3274.
Fri., April 29, 6 p.m.; Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: April 29. Continues through June 5, 2011

 
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