Fashion is the focus of Blood Sugar, which consists of a video projected onto a vintage vinyl jacket set at torso height on a dressmaker’s dummy. As suggested by the work’s title, Cheryl Donegan uses the body as a metaphor, relating the continuous cycle and recycle of images that characterizes consumer fashion culture to the flow of sugar in our blood. Formally, the work borrows strategies from conceptual art, and specifically video art from the 1960s and 1970s—such as the use of repetition, patterns, found materials, and a DIY, low-tech aesthetic—and combines it with contemporary cultural forms, in this case, the world of fashion.
In the video, as runway models emerge and recede into darkness, digitally inserted images of fabric patterns appear, hover across the screen and dissipate to the sound of a repetitive beat. As the video progresses, footage of a child wearing aluminum foil as clothes and another scene with a group of women wearing ornate dresses is overlaid with a collage of images of consumer objects and commercial spaces. The result is a an meditation on fashion’s most essential elements: fabric, the body and the mediated image.