Ladylike, mirrored acrylic, installation dimensions variable- each sign 6”x9”x1/4”, 2018.


Ladylike is an ongoing series that points to and questions female gender construction.


Pictured above is a selection of altered signs representing the icon for “woman.” The icon for woman is universally recognized as an indicator for the female gender. In this series, the signs have been altered to depict gestures paired with adjectives that have likewise been assigned to the female gender. By presenting this altered signage, I ask the viewer to consider how we name, classify and stereotype gender. Naming a person who identifies as female “crazy” because they exhibit emotion or passion, or “bossy” because they exhibit authority and knowledge is destructive, controlling and hurtful.


Below is an early test for a work in progress. I am currently designing a 16 room house containing both private and public spaces in which a woman performs (ex. kitchen, bedroom, office, classroom, hospital room, etc). The house design will be cut and etched onto a panel, and a digital animation of the woman will be projected onto the etched panel. As she tries to keep up with the needs and expectations of each space- she meets all levels of triumph, frustration and failure. The early test depicts a sample animation projection in the kitchen.

© 2016 Emily Scott Beck