In 1962 the film “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” was released into the cinemas. The psycho-horror thriller about two ageing female movie stars was a surprising hit and kicked off a whole new film genre known as the ‘psycho biddy’ or ‘hagsploitation’ movie. The film diva steps in front of the mirror in a studied pose, sees her aged face - a distorted version of how she sees herself – and lets out into a blood-curdling scream. This has become an iconic image.
This year, the members of She She Pop will all be about 50. And so, they explore society’s fear of the ‘hag’ - the old woman and witch – in their new production Hexploitation. Naturally, they will be using their ageing bodies for this purpose: to fight against the invisibility and loss of status that women suffer in society when they are no longer of childbearing age. To this day, the term ‘witch’ is used to belittle or reduce women. The witch - an anarchic, heretical woman - stands for sexuality beyond reproduction and subversive behaviour towards power structures and authorities.
In “Hexploitation”, She She Pop lock themselves and the audience in a mise en scène reminiscent of a low-lit, kitschy film set from which there is no escape. A live camera serves as a magnifying glass and intimate examining tool. With its help, the She She Pop team, in the guise of ageing psycho biddies, explore their own disturbing imperfections and obsessions, go in search of taboos and examine traditional witchcraft. They also discover the camera as a magic box through which they can repeatedly transcend their bodies to create liberating self-portraits, coupled with melodramatic disgust and comical lust, reminiscent of Norma Desmond’s memorable line: ‘Mr DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up!’ (Sunset Boulevard, 1950).
Presale starts on September 1, 2020.