Extreme Barbie Makeover Workshop, Exhibit Part of Women's
History Month Celebration
Sebastopol artist Deborah Colotti's installation, called double consciousness,
at Sonoma State University's InterCultural Center Gallery uses mixed media
including animal bones and Barbie dolls "to examine American women's
traditionally relegated dual role as household domestic and beauty queen."
The show runs March 1-26, as part of National Women's History Month activities
coordinated by the SSU Women's Resource Center.
Colotti, who's own "Barbs" offer remodeled dolls that comment on Mattel's
popular icon, will also lead the Extreme Barbie Makeover Workshop from
3-5:30 p.m, on Tuesday, March 2 in the Gallery. The public is invited
to bring their own Barbie or use one provided. Some tools and accessories
will be available. Dolls created in the workshop will be displayed as
part of double consciousness.
Colotti's installation features the dolls and bones trussed together by
copper wire and suspended along the heating ducts of the room. Two walls
will have murals: one a collage of advertising images designed to provoke
desire, an essential element for creating need in order to promote products.
Says Colotti, "desire and need become entwined and twisted together to
create demanding consumers."
The second wall features silhouettes of the Barbie doll, scaled proportionally
up to typical females heights, 5'1", 5'6" and 5'10." "Visitors can
draw their own silhouette over the Barbie type, demonstrating that the
dolls offer an unattainable distortion of human reality," says the
In front of the murals, stands a table with 15 textbook volumes from the
Women's Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences, published in 1937.
Topics focus on the care and maintenance of all aspects of home textiles,
including laundry room design, how to wash and fold linens, home dry cleaning
techniques, and care of lace and white kid gloves. The need/desire to
have "things" and the requirements of upkeep and maintenance for those
same "things" is one of the dilemmas of contemporary women, says Colloti.
For more information on double consciousness or the Extreme Barbie
Makeover Workshop, call the Women's Resource Center, (707) 664-2845. The
InterCultural Center is located in the Sonoma Student Union and is open
Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m.
to 4:30 p.m.