sugar dough, wrapping materials, performance

2013

This piece is a nod to the lessons taught by my family that a woman must always smile, no matter the circumstances; I was taught that my smile was a gift, that must be given to those who will take pleasure in it, during business transactions, in home life, on the street. The sugar dough I use is a traditional Mexican recipe that is one variation of a sugar-and-egg white paste used to make sugar skulls and calaveras for Dia de los Muertos; it is scented with vanilla.  For the performance, I mix this dough and press pieces of it to my mouth to preserve my smile, leaving a line of teeth impressions down the middle of the dough, and perhaps traces of makeup, food particles, etc.  (A wash of water with a brush over my lips and teeth will be required each time to keep the dough from sticking.)  Each ball will be dipped in the "sparkling sugar" used in cakemaking to compete the sweet. Each sweet from the performance is wrapped in tissue, a decorative box, and a bow before it is given to its new owner.