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Dressing Up

Susan Mogul

1973 00:07:06 United StatesEnglishB&WMono4:31/2" open reel video


A reverse striptease, non-stop comedic monologue about shopping for clothes, while eating corn nuts. Dressing Up was inspired by the artist’s mother’s penchant for bargain hunting. Mogul produced Dressing Up as a student in the feminist art program at the California Institute of the Arts in 1973.

This now classic video was shown in Southland Video Anthology in 1975 at the Long Beach Museum of Art. Curated by David Ross, it was one of the first museum surveys of video art in the United States. Thirty years later Dressing Up has been exhibited internationally, and was exhibited at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, in 2008.

"On mother-daughter relationships and clothes that make the woman. Turning her barbed wit both inwards and outwards, this pioneering video artist reflects on women’s private and public lives."

— Josh Siegel, Curator, Museum of Modern Art, New York City

"One of the great things about Dressing Up is that it totally just undoes every notion of how in society at the time you might be expecting a woman to act, and then the fact that Mogul is naked eating corn nuts, which is the most unglamorous type of image, just puts it over the top."

— Glenn Phillips, Curator, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

"Susan Mogul's very funny video stories, in one of which (Dressing Up) she proceeds from disrobed to robed, reminiscing about the history of each item of clothing."

— Lucy Lippard, MS Magazine

About Susan Mogul

Since 1973 artist and filmmaker Susan Mogul has developed a body of work that is autobiographical, diaristic, and ethnographic. Her work addresses the human dilemma of self in relationship to family, community and the culture at large. Mogul’s videos of the early 1970s, as well as her recent documentaries, are often featured in exhibitions, publications, and college courses that examine the histories of video art, feminist art, and contemporary documentary.

“The conflict in forging one’s own identity in relation to a group — be it family or the culture at large — has been an underlying theme in my work. I was revealing attempts to define my self-image through humorous autobiographical anecdotes. In them I measured myself against influential role models.” 
— Susan Mogul