Fashion is the touchstone for Blood Sugar, a video that is projected against a vintage vinyl jacket set at torso height on a dressmaker’s dummy and serves as a screen. As the title suggests, another bodily metaphor, metabolism, is at play in the continuous cycle and recycle of images. As the models emerge and recede into darkness, images and patterns appear, degrade and reemerge to an uninterrupted beat. The cycle continues, just as viewers continue to flow and burn.
Cheryl Donegan is well known for her videos that targeted the clichés of the female body in art and in art politics. She came of age in the 1990s, when young Generation X-ers questioned everything mainstream culture put in front of them. They came up with a variety of alternative forms: the underground feminist hardcore punk movement riot girl, grunge, slacker, and DIY culture among them. Politics were at the forefront of their art, yet the efficacy of feminism, identity politics and other forms of political engaged art were also being questioned.
In Donegan’s performance and video work spanning the early 1990s to the early 2000s, she has often used her body as an apparatus for mark-making, parodying the conventions of commercials and music videos while considering the politics of self-representation. Over the last decade, she has continued her exploration of the mediated image and her interests in surface, compressed space, and the indexical relation of the mark to the body in paintings and sculptures produced in her studio as well as in videos distributed on social media.