"Flower Girl" is a site-specific video installation. Each space determines number of screens and length/content of each video. Flower Girl probes the perception of innocence, and the transition from childhood to womanhood, during a time of confusing norms and expectations. The video depicts, on separate screens, a girl at play in a pictorial setting, and an adult female systematically constructing a silk flower. Their relationship is ambiguous, and the piece beckons the question: can the girl hold on to her identity, cultivate her aspirations, or is she predestined to be a construct of her environs? And what of the older woman? Is she the architect, a symbol of cultural intentions, or an obedient pawn?
The project was activated by a convergence of multiple events: my daughter’s 13th birthday; her distress over not being a flower girl in a family wedding; the participation of women in the Arab Spring, and their likely diminished role under rising conservative movements; the right wing “war on women” movement in the US; and the National Institute of Mental Health’s new findings on “Nature vs. Nurture”.