Beauty Prescribed is a performance within the Cabinet des Fables, a room which is a reconstruction of an eighteenth century boudoir which was once part of the Hôtel Dangé, located at 9 place vendôme. A solo performer takes the role of an eighteenth century noble woman who performs the ritual of the toilette in front of a small audience. Drawing on beauty advice from eighteenth century beauty manuals, the woman follows the recipes and instructions prescribed to her by a narrative male voice. Beauty treatises were often written by male physicians who dictated what was beautiful. The performer follows this dictation and engages in this prescribed ritual of beautification. Many of the cosmetics used during this time were actually poisonous and therefore dangerous and detrimental to the health of the woman. The boudoir in which the performance takes place was decorated with boiseries which illustrate the Fables de la Fontaine. One in particular, Le Cerf Se Voyant Dans l’Eau, tells the following moral: We value what is beautiful and scorn the useful. Yet beauty often destroys us.
Project by Remina Greenfield, Dasha Ilina and Sarah Gasper.