As Furniture, As Discipline, 2013

From, In the boom of the tingling strings (solo exhibition) PCA, Plymouth

video (3min 42 sec)


As Furniture, As Discipline is a song essay performed to camera by the artist’s mother, sisters and nieces. The melody is adapted from ‘I Love You Truly’, (Carrie Jacobs-Bond, 1913), the first song written by a woman to sell over 1 million copies of sheet music. The lyrics, written by the artist, explore female identity and piano playing - an activity that could be perceived as both oppressive and emancipative in the 19/20th century.


The sentimental tune and the hymn-like quality of the lyrics contrasts with the modern context and obvious effort and discomfort of the performers. Both humorous and strange in its domesticity, the video poses questions about the place of amateur music making within the home, family relationships and gender-specific activities.