Miss Chatelaine

Suzy Lake American-Canadian

Not on view

In 1968, as other artists were staging protests, Lake was studying mime. This subsequent photomontage is a master class in nonverbal communication, wherein Lake performs a pithy letter to the editor, enacting her frustrations with the Canadian women’s magazine Chatelaine and its little-sister spinoff, Miss Chatelaine. To keep up with the era’s changing mores, the publications ditched their outdated emphasis on domesticity and took up the banner of women’s liberation. Lake’s unsettling self-portraits mimic what she saw as the magazines’ bogus makeover to mass-market feminism. Caked in white face paint—the mime’s cosmetic of choice—she simpers and sneers for the camera. Clipped from the magazine’s pages, trendy hairstyles are pasted awkwardly atop her head, as ill-fitting as the feminine stereotypes they seem to suggest.

Miss Chatelaine, Suzy Lake (American-Canadian, born Detroit, Michigan, 1947), Gelatin silver print

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