Real Snow White
Pilvi Takala, 2009, 9'15''

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Pilvi Takala has a sharp eye when it comes to the unwritten rules and codes of behavior in certain public and semi-public places. She creates situations which expose these social structures. Art holding up a mirror to society is far from being a cliché in her work.

Takala is on her way to the entrance of Disney Land, costumed as Snow White. Children and adults pose with her in photographs and ask for her autograph until one of the park's security guards makes it clear to her that she is forbidden to enter the park in this costume, or ‘disguise’, as the rules call it. The artist acts naive, as though she never expected this, and is surprised at the intervention. A public discussion arises between her, the guard and the onlookers. The camera that is film
ng this is invisibly present. The answers to her innocent questions are as funny as they are disillusioning. The bystanders are disappointed when it appears that Takala is not the 'real' Snow White. The real Snow White is inside the park.

“But I thought that the real Snow White was a drawing,” Takala objects. No one seems to realize how ridiculous it is to be speaking about ‘real’ when it comes to a fantasy character. Fantasy is no longer infinite when one is dealing with a commercial Disney character who brings in billions. A fake Snow White might suddenly do something that deviates from the Disney script, or worse yet, something malicious. Even outside the gates to the park her conduct must conform to the strict rules dictated by the ringing of the cash register.

Netherlands Media Art Institute, Nanda Janssen

  • Date: 2009
  • Length: 9'15''
  • Type: Video
  • Copyrights: All rights reserved (c) LIMA
  • Genre: performance (artwork genre), pastiche / fake
  • Keywords: commerce, consumption, copyright, culture, identity, power, public/private, representation, western culture, registration (technique)