White bumpy lesion, redness and pain


This video is part of the “Miranda” project, made in collaboration with Nathalie Hartjes (director of MAMA Rotterdam), and the artists Lola Safari and Yung Nora. The project took shape in the spring of 2020, under the framework of Kunstpodium T - an Apprentice Master program that helps young graduating artists hone their presentation skills.
The character I’ve created for the video is called Miranda. She’s a woman that is starting to have her doubts about the self-care and wellness industries and begins presenting these in a confessional type of format. In the video, she’s seen suffering from vaginal candidiasis, a fungal infection caused by a yeast called Candida albicans. Candida normally lives on the skin and inside the body, in places such as the mouth, throat, gut, and vagina, without causing any problems, but it can grow out of control and cause infections. Some symptoms include vaginal itching or soreness, pain during sexual intercourse, pain or discomfort when urinating, and abnormal vaginal discharge.
In the video, Miranda is trying to fix her illness by submerging herself in a herbal bath. But as she does this she starts to realize that the bath is only a superficial cure to her illness, the roots of which are connected to other events in her life.
While putting together my material for this video I got inspired by confessional media, the idea that we increasingly start confessing our feelings and parts of our private life online.
Another point of influence for me was the section of goop entitled goop Ph.D., which references itself as a hub for thoroughly researched health information. goop is a wellness and lifestyle brand and company founded by actress Gwyneth Paltrow and launched in 2008. It has at its core new age principles. Throughout the years, goop expanded from a newsletter to a website, print magazine, and pop-up shop. goop has increasingly come under fire for marketing products that are harmful, based on pseudoscience, and which lack efficacy.
One of the most notorious products is their “Jade Egg” - proposed to be used as a form of vaginal weight lifting. It is, according to their website: "used by women to increase sexual energy, health, and pleasure.” Gynecologists were severely critical of these claims and, in September 2018 the Goop company agreed to pay $145,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging that goop has posted claims about the eggs and about a herbal remedy, both without scientific basis.
“Miranda” bridges this gap between the highly personal, and the corporate guidance we end up seeking to tame our bodily failures.