Beauty and Violence

by Margarita Aizpuru

Beth Moyses approaches the theme of violence against women, especially domestic abuse, from a subtle, poetic stance built around the wedding dress as a metaphor of love, happiness, elegance and grace but also as the start to a draining process of compromise, devotion, sacrifice, and frequently violence, a violence exercised against women in their own homes. Almost all of her works are made out of wedding dresses.

Committed to feminist activism, she is involved in several women's groups fighting domestic violence, and produces creative works with a strong social vocation, such as the series of portraits of brides that she took at a group wedding of female prisoners in São Paulo. Here we have "Luta", a pair of boxing gloves made out of a wedding dress, and "Gotejando" (El testamento de Amelia), a video performance in which the artist and her daughter carry out an intense, lyrical and poignant rite. Moyses is wearing a bridal costume, with a crown on her head, and her daughter is also in white with a floral wreath. The bridal dress is spangled with tear-shaped pearls, which the child snips off one by one and sews onto her own dress. This piece enacts the link between mother and daughter, the first passing her experience down to the second, bequeathing the moments of her existence so that the little one may know everything that she knows.