Lost in nail varnish

2008 | super 8mm film | 2:30


Lost In Nail Varnish takes a short section from a super 8mm print of There’s No Business Like Show Business (1954), in which Marilyn Monroe sings a burlesque musical number.

Frame by frame, Marilyn’s image was masked with vaseline, then soaked in hydrogen peroxide (blonde in a bottle) to partially remove the emulsion. Different cosmetic substances (nail varnish, mascara, eyeliner and eye-shadow) were applied to the surface of the film. The celluloid was then cut up and re-spliced back together arbitrarily.

Played back at 12 frames per second, Marilyn pouts, dances, sings and sways, caught in a raging sea of cosmetics that threatens to engulf her.

Screenings: Cinema Corporel, Leeds (2011) | Ways of Looking, Leeds (2008)