Malena Barnhart is a feminist artist who makes art from repurposed cultural materials. She works with a variety of found items and footage including children’s stickers, YouTube videos, and party decorations. Her work centers around the process of enculturation and its role in perpetuating harmful gender norms. Barnhart holds an MFA in Photography from Arizona State University and a BA in studio art from the University of Maryland. She has exhibited extensively throughout Arizona at venues such as the Tucson Museum of Art and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Her work has also been shown nationally and internationally in locations including Chicago, New York, Washington DC, Portland, San Francisco, Finland, Italy, Israel and London. She has received many awards including a Carmody Foundation grant, the John Dorsey Prize for Outstanding Curatorial Practice and the Sadat Art for Peace Award. Her work resides in Northlight Gallery’s permanent collection, the special collections at Columbia University Library, and the personal collection of Madeleine Albright.
Lana Del Rey Makeup Tutorials
Lana Del Rey is an American pop star who has received a great deal of online hate. She has often been criticized for her perceived lack of authenticity. Music blogs derisively describe her surgeries, new wardrobe and stage name. Still, a great number of girls and women strive to look like her and even post videos online teaching others how to mimic her appearance. In this work, re-edited audio and video footage from some of her music videos exists alongside 72 YouTube makeup tutorials featuring girls and women showing others how to use makeup to look more like Lana Del Rey.
Hauls are a type of YouTube video featuring women and girls displaying and describing new purchases. Haul videos tend to be made by the same women and girls who create makeup tutorial YouTube videos. Instead of items purchased during a shopping trip, Christmas hauls feature women displaying the gifts they received for Christmas. While there is certainly an unsettling materialistic focus in these videos, these women and girls build community with each other. Most are quite young, yet they’re creating and editing their own videos, and often being paid for their work.
Over time, I amassed a large collection of haul videos and re-edited them together, emphasizing conventions of the form. Every video opens with the same disclaimer, gifts are held and displayed via identical gestures, and everyone seems to be receiving similar items.