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The Mismade Girl
Tova Mozard

The video work The Mismade Girl is to a certain extent a portrait of a dying breed – the American style entertainer with an ever-gleaming smile on his face who is out of sync with his time. The magician Chuck Jones and Jan, his life and show partner, have developed the classic trick ‘Sawing a Lady in Half’ into a magic routine where the parts are multiplied by four – ‘The Mismade Girl’, an act being copied around the world. But the video is ultimately a self-portrait by Mozard – she becomes the artwork as the director of the performance and through her participation in the trick.

Tova Mozard plays the woman who is sawn into pieces while lying in a box. Through role play, Mozard investigates several aspects of the act and its connotations in a wider sense. The female body is imaginary bisected, while at the same time holding the gaze of the audience where the attraction lies in the beauty and the horror of the act. At stake is a promise of a continuous rebirth, to gain affirmation through the gaze – demanding attention at a moment of perceived danger in front of a passive audience. The urge to please and at the same time take charge coexist in a moment of self-effacing.

When Tova Mozard documents and reveals the workings of the magician’s tricks she is also digging deep down into the core of symbolism. What does it mean to dismember a woman? How could this be perceived as entertainment? In the video, we follow the setting and preparation of the show, at the same time approaching the roles the participants play as performers; how they perceive themselves and their purpose.

In the fiction of the magic performance there is a freedom of interpretation; the spectator may project their own fantasies during different parts of the game. During the endless repetition of the trick, despair and delight are intertwined in the same banal and repulsive magic act.

Keywords Self-portrait, Body
Aspect ratio 1.78:1 (16:9)
Prod. format Generic HD-video
Duration 00:16:34
Language English
Color BW
Sound Stereo
Year 2020
Latest screening Nov 25, 2021
May 6, 2021
Rent this work for public screenings

About the artist

Tova Mozard

Tova Mozard lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden.

Curiosity and unveiling narratives are two main motifs in Tova Mozard’s work. Since graduating with an MFA from Malmö Art Academy in 2003, Mozard has built a growing repertoire of photography and video work, which has been shown in solo and group shows throughout Sweden and internationally. Many of her videos show a fascination with people on the fringes of society. During her time in Los Angeles, she sought out unique people drawn to the bright Hollywood lights and dreams of superstardom. In these videos, Mozard explores the relationship between the camera, the entertainer/narrator and her self as artist/documenter. The Big Scene finds Mozard turning the camera around to face her own childhood and family history.