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The Cake Show 2006

The Cake Show was collaborative performance between Karina Bergmans and myself. It investigated the visual similarities between women’s clothing and pastry decoration. Feast, feminism, fakery and festivity were examined through the medium of cake. The Cake Show was performed at the reopening of Pukka Gallery in Ottawa and the Toronto Alternative Fashion Show.

 

When do we feel devoured? When do we enjoy the game of dress up and feel on equal or even higher footing because of it? Fashion remains a key sociological concern in the applied arts. In societies where masks and costumes are a regular part of community ritual, clothing has a well-recognized significance. In a time and place where special garb is frequently considered “just frosting” there is often more going than we may realize in the act of donning apparel.

 

I have been exploring the psychological and cultural import of textiles in my art for quite a while. While shopping for materials for my mixed media works I was struck by how much the laces and ruffles resembled the piping on wedding cakes and was inspired to create my first cake dress. The wearer becomes something between a bride or a stripper who has found herself stuck in the cake. 

Cake is deeply tied to our cultural associations of celebration and ritual. It seems that Cake is one of the few remaining sacraments in our secular world. The climax of most parties is when cake is carried out and the guests all share it. In the context of the home, women tend to act as both the cooks and and the hosts of such events. Dressed like cakes, the performers in the Cake Show become both the high priestess and main dish.

Performances included: A rousing rendition of the classic song “If I'd a Known You Were Coming” by myself, the reading of selections from Margaret Atwood's the Edible Woman by Karina and the distribution of a selection of real and fake cupcakes indistinguishable to onlookers

 
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