Marry me, kiss the bride, live happily ever after . . . we continue to cherish the rituals surrounding weddings, those blissful events that seal the love of two people for eternity. In Bride Fight, New York-based artist E.V. Day challenges this romantic notion. Displayed recently at New York City's Lever House, the installa-tion features two ripped wedding dresses engaged in, yes, a turbu-lent battle. The aggressive image will hardly surprise devotees of Day, who has a history of mutilat-ing stereotypes of women's cloth-ing. In earlier projects, she took tangible pleasure in mummifying Barbies, dissecting wetsuits and exploding haute-couture designs. For Bride Fight, Day distorted the ultimate fashion icon: the wedding gown. Here, two tradi-tional white gowns floating in a brightly lit space were hitched to ceiling and floor with hundreds of fishing lines and hooks. A lace glove clenched a tulle veil, a pearl necklace threatened to strangle a neck . . . the gowns literally duelled with each other, forming a dramatic pair that inverted tradition by showing that other, darker side of amorous attach-ments, and of human contact in general. Ruthlessly unveiling its inherent frustrations, tensions
and violence, Bride Fight walked the intriguing tightrope between art, fashion and (interior) design. This past summer, Bride Fight adorned the Lever House lobby's glass-enclosed exhibition space for three months. Its selection for this spot implies that Day's work touches a tender chord in the American art scene: her predecessors at the renowned gallery include Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons.
Words - Ellen Rutten
Photos - Tom Powel Imaging