Good Housewife/Betsy Out of Doors
Performance, combined video and photo documentation
Continuing an exploration of gender performance through learned acts of preparation in domestic spaces, Carvalho embodies a stereotypical 1950s, white, middle-class, suburban, all American! housewife named Betsy and prepare a cake from start to finish.
I am able to access this persona through costume, action and the environment I create in the performance space. Becoming Betsy allows me to explore gender performance, roles and expectations in a time that was much more restrictive for all women. Being a female university student approximately 100 years after women got the vote in Ontario, I am extremely aware that the privileges I have today allow me opportunity into spaces and institutions that are relatively newly accessible for women. In the time of rejecting gender roles and resisting the societal pressure to assimilate as a step towards equality, I take a step back to evaluate how different my life could have looked had I been born in a different era in history, specifically one before the Feminist Movement of the 1960s.
The video projection allows the audience to see how Betsy functions in her private space, while the live component becomes an extension of her “out of the house” and into the gallery. The piece ends once the artist has served the cake to the audience.
A series of collaborative video works with Shayla Giroux.
In Domestic Spaces
performance for video
In this work, Carvalho and Giroux go through their individual routines in preparation to leave the house. A tribute to the intimacy of domestic rituals and a critical look at behaviours engrained through learned action, this work aims to challenge societal expectations of the female body by giving a truthful look at the intricacies that make up gendered routines, especially ones that appear natural.