Maria Plus One, Plus One You're Done
2007, 01:30 minutes, colour, English
The documentation of this live performance is part of larger project entitled Maria Plus One that lasted from 2005 to 2008. The series of photographs, videos, live performances and interventions depicted the artist enacting various romantic rituals with a life size doll. Plus One You’re Done focuses on the termination of the romantic relationship between Maria Legault and her male doll Plus One. While explaining to the inanimate object the reasons why their relationship must be terminated, the artist proceeds to dismember him and light him on fire to mark his material end. This is the most disturbing Maria Plus One work since the violence and abuse that is quietly lurking in many of the other pieces becomes takes a prominent role here. Literally put, the couple’s romantic relationship ends in the total destruction of one party through an abusive spouse while she whispers the words I hope you know I still love you. This abusive behavior mimics the gas lighting strategies that can occur in romantic relationships. Although this project is humorous and appears to be saccharine sweet and light hearted at first glance, it raises important questions about loneliness, otherness, conformity, gender roles and the institutions of love and marriage.
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