Nicole Grant and Ragan Peck want to know why our culture is so obsessed with tragedy, and why beautiful, dead young women are so prized in mass media. The untimely death of a young woman has become a stock formula for televisions top crime shows, tabloids and films. Grant and Peck place this dark obsession on display with a stark and uncensored brutality, creating tableaus of gut-wrenching violence stripped from the scenes and stories we call entertainment.
Within the confines of a traditional gallery space, Peck and Grant created seven installations of great detail and realism, all hosting a female performer frozen in the aftermath of an untimely death. A bullet ridden prostitute tossed into a garbage bin, a nude girl with slit wrists slumped in a claw foot bathtub, a young black girl laying on a bed of grass with a noose tight to her neck. Incredibly charged scenes of violence and loss. Grant and Peck force us to confront our morbid curiosity, and while the audience may want to scold the artists for presenting such disturbing scenes, we are reminded that these installations are not fabrications of the artists but extractions from popular culture we are surrounded by day and night. These are the images that sell newspapers and Hollywood films. They may well be the images that we as consumers request and consume with satisfaction.
Dead Girls incites the conflicts between feminism and sexuality, violence and beauty, advertising and exploitation. It captures the beauty of youth and our cultures obsession with tragedy, spitting rapid-fire questions about our fascination with violence and the contradictions that plague western culture and our modern world.