SAMSTAG ALUMNI 2007

Anthea Behm
Born 1977, Sydney, New South Wales

In The Chrissy Diaries, Anthea Behm catalogues the female archetypes that girls dream of becoming when they grow up, but she portrays them with poignant disillusionment. The short film clips of Chrissy (played by Behm) fulfilling her fantasies don't quite match the glamorous images a little girl might imagine.

A contestant in a beauty pageant is represented as the modern day princess. Just like a princess in a fairy story, the lucky winner wanders tentatively through a dark wood, but instead of bearing the title bestowed upon her, the sash Chrissy wears is emblazoned with her phone number. As a bikini model she smiles bravely despite the sun in her eyes. The shoot is neither on a beach nor beside a hotel pool, but in an anonymous waterhole, which can only be recognised as being beside the sea when an occasional wave breaks orgasmically over the horizon. The cheerleader's solitary routine is performed in rather awkward silence at night on a deserted playing field. The only sound is the rustle of pompoms. Without the supporting context of other cheerleaders and the roar of a crowd, all the choreographed exuberance seems a bit silly and sad. Incongruous elements infiltrate the The Chrissy Diaries. As happens in dreams, there's always something wrong with the picture. 

Timothy Morell from his Samstag catalogue essay, Loose connections
 
2007 Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship
2007 Master of Fine Arts, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA  
2005 Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours), College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney