Good Housekeeping is concerned with the societal “norms” a woman is expected to meet and observe in the twenty-first century. The series also touches heavily on the woes of the passionate, over-educated men and women who struggle to find a lucrative career that relates to the disciplines they have chosen [to study] in their post-secondary institutions. Issha Marie draws from her emotions and personal experiences as a point of departure for this series, evoking a burgeoning restlessness and quiet despair.
In these frames, she speaks of how it feels to be living with a partner who shoulders most of their household expenses. She labours to match her partner’s financial contribution by keeping their home livable and comfortable, resigning to her own lack of financial self-sufficiency. Each vignette conveys Issha’s efforts to reconcile her desire to live a comfortable lifestyle with her guilt over not being able to contribute as much as her partner. Tensions come into play as she tries desperately to find the time to keep their household in order, work several menial jobs, and continue to create artwork. The end result, then, features the artist play-acting at apathy. The works’ titles, snippets from a seventies mock-up, The Good Wife’s Guide, provide a striking disparity to the images. The tensions are evident; she hints at her attempts to keep her mental breakdowns, sexual frustration, and feelings of isolation and depression all at bay. In Count this as minor…, for instance, the artist’s face remains expressionless, but her body language speaks of a suppressed anxiety.
Good Housekeeping is a visual re-imagining of the The Good Wife’s Guide – a telling of the artist’s fears of not being able to grow into the kind of artist she aspires to be, nor the successful, confident, young woman society tells her she should be [given the level of her education], by now.
(images to come...)