my project is an update on dara birnbaum's video _technology/ transformation: wonder woman. _i continued brinbaum's critique of femininity as represented in popular media using methods of appropriation. i updated this project by translating the commentary to the 21st century in both subject and method. relating to subject, i used 2010 republican vp candidate sarah palin as my interpretation of wonder women. i have not been the first to draw the comparison between palin and the caped heroine. during her campaign many saw the all-american mother, beauty queen, moose hunting woman of the republican party as our generations evil-fighting female hero. with this work, i questioned this contemporary construction of the "wonder woman" while updating brinbaum's method of appropriation and video editing.
"sarah palin, the new republican candidate for vice president of the united states, is a dead ringer for wonder woman, that 1970s icon of unleashed female power who would step aside from her role as tightly buttoned assistant to some bloke, do a quick twirl and emerge in an explosion of energy as a fabulous female freedom fighter in a drop-dead sexy costume – 'in your satin tights, fighting for your rights, and the old red, white and blue', as the theme song put it.” - joyce macmillan, "sarah palin - wonder who she reminds you of" september 2008
dara brinbaum's video, technology/transformation: wonder woman (1978-79, video, 5:50 min.) is a collection of clips recorded from the at-the-time popular tv show . in the first part of the video, brinbaum edits clips from the show, displaying small sequences repeatedly in order to highlight the mindless absurdity of wonder woman's supposed strong character. in the second part, brinbaum plays the theme song of the show, displaying the lyrics on the video. with this, she underlines the clear male-centered tone of the song, deconstructing the apparently powerful and independent wonder woman into nothing more than a man's sexual toy
"'what we recognize in her work is the freudian trope of the narcissistic woman, or the lacanian theme of femininity as a contained spectacle, which exists only as a representation of masculine desire.' wonder woman is indeed a fetish object and brinbaum cynically exposes her as a sign of common currency, but also as a redundancy-- a restatement of women's powerlessness- that subliminally courses through the texts." - cassandra langer, femenist art critism: turning points and sticking places, p. 26
in order to update this work analyzing sarah palin as the wonder woman, i tooke clips from youtube of palin's speeches and interviews. i looked for clips that either show palin performing her femeninity or speaking on femenists issues. i used brinbaum's choppy and repetitive editing techniques to similarly reveal the absurdity of many of palin's soundbites. finally, i included a song dedicated to palin, similarly putting the lyrics of the song to scrutiny. by using youtube and focusing on clips from the mass media outlets covering the elections, this project also updates brinbaum's method, showing how today's politics, and the people involved, are just as constructed as sitcom characters.