Tag Archives: film

The Cleaning Girl and the Boarder

The Cleaning Girl and the Boarder is the work I presented in the ECUAD Low Residency MAA Graduate Exhibition in July 2012.

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Nov 16, 2011

The Cleaning Girl and the Boarder is a stop motion animation that re-imagines a portion of the narrative in My Mother Told Me, a work I created for the mid-program MAA exhibition UponOccasion in 2011 at Emily Carr University. The original work consists of a narrative that is loosely based on personal memory, and The Cleaning Girl additionally incorporates fantasy and fiction into a fragment of that memory.

The section of the story that is re-imagined from a portion of text in My Mother Told Me reads, “I didn’t notice a lot of blacks in our town, but I recall the Chinese boarders that lived in our bedrooms after the divorce – I thought it was strange how you could see their fallen hairs on the pillows”. The set for the animation is a bedroom made from low-tech materials. The figure and the furnishings are created from white paper, while the bedroom walls are constructed from corrugated cardboard.

The story begins with the girl occupied in cleaning the room of a boarder who lives in her mother’s house. She is distracted from her work and gazes out the window, masturbates on the corner of the bed, and imagines black hairs dancing on the boarder’s pillow. The Cleaning Girl sets memory and fantasy side by side as well as bringing together past and present. I draw upon memories to create the structure of the narrative, and these memories are paired with fantasy, which allow for moments of both humour and disgust to be present in the film. Simultaneously, past memories are brought to the present through the use of live action sequences, such as my own hand sloshing water in a bucket and washing a hot plate, and these are mixed with traditional stop motion animation techniques.

My Mother Told Me…, 2011, Graphite on wall, frame, photo, pillow, hair.
My Mother Told Me…, 2011, Graphite on wall, frame, photo, pillow, hair.
My Mother Told Me…, Detail.
My Mother Told Me…, Detail.

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Film Stills

Still from The Cleaning Girl
Still from The Cleaning Girl
Still from The Cleaning Girl
Still from The Cleaning Girl
Still from The Cleaning Girl
Still from The Cleaning Girl

July 2012
Exhibition version on Vimeo.