Photo By Fred Boomer


Ghosts” is an installation consisting of thirteen thrift store wedding dresses. These dresses cause us to ponder their history, how did they come to be in a thrift store? Was it a failed marriage, a death, a simple housecleaning before a move? These “ghosts” have an unknown history, but carry with them the emotionality of their role in the wedding ceremony. The time spent in choosing this dress, the superstition of not letting the bridegroom see it beforehand, bought for one day, a day of such solemnity, a powerful symbol of the commitment connected to this ceremony. They are the culmination and the fulfillment of many young girls’ dreams, but the word “ghosts” comes into play also because the fear some people have of what this symbol represents. Perhaps they represent the myth of happily ever after and till death do we part, a “ghost” of a chance of making it. This installation premiered at Goloka Gallery on Friday, October 13th, 2006. I left all price tags on the dresses. The most I paid for a dress was $75, the least I paid was $1.67, for a dress that did not have a tag. One of my favorites is homemade. As I was hanging the dresses I could feel this heaviness about the installation and realized these dresses are used to standing alone and being the center of attention, and offered to them some strewn white rose petals for appeasement. The dresses were hung on clear plastic molded display torsos, to give the sense of being occupied, with fishing line to create movement. On a personal level, it was a chance for me, a never-been-married woman, to go and buy wedding dresses, be kid again and play dress-up. And a chance once again for these thrift-stored rejects to stand before an audience and be appreciated.

Copyright Joyce Genari 2010
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