Althea Thauberger

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Althea Thauberger

Lisa Corrin
San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, Seattle Art Museum, Vancouver Art Gallery, Wattis Institute California College of Art | 2003

The Songstress project began in the spring 2001 with Thauberger’s ad seeking you female singer/songwriters, placed in Monday Magazine, Victoria’s weekly entertainment magazine. The resulting work is a series of eight unedited threeminute music videos, each created in a single take on 16 mm film. The videos feature fresh-faced women aged between fifteen and twenty-seven lip-synching to a recording of one of their own songs, selected, for the most part, and produced by Thauberger. The songstresses chose their flowing outfits and choreographed their dramatic gestures, with guidance from the artist. Their musical styles vary from wistful hippie-folk and New Age positivism to angry girl ballads; the images they project are derived from immediately recognizable female music world icons such as Joni Mitchell.

Thauberger selected arcadian locations for the videos. The grassy meadows, lakeside overlooks, and evergreen forests echo perfectly the sentimental emotional landscapes of dreams, hopes, yearning, and awe, expressed in the deeply personal, often melancholy lyrics. They capture the ideals that characterize the Romantic vision of the West Coast as a pastoral world offering spiritual enlightenment and freedom through an immediate connection with nature.