Artists’ group to explore power, fashion & feminism

“Two Girls Working,” the collaborative team of artists Tiffany Ludwig and Renee Piechocki, will screen and discuss a documentary about their ongoing project, Trappings, at 8 p.m. Feb. 16 in Ursa’s Lounge in Gregg House.

Trappings investigates the relationship between power and self-presentation by asking women to respond to the question, “What do you wear that makes you feel powerful?”

Since 2001, the artists have conducted almost 500 interviews with women from across the United States, and plan to interview 10-15 women while at WUSTL.

Responses — which are being collected for a traveling exhibition and multimedia Web site as well as the documentary — have ranged from simple descriptions of an outfit’s comfort to complex analysis of class and social strata to the use of sex as strategy in business and social settings.

The result is a project that blurs the lines between performance, visual art, public art and oral history.

“Our interview sessions are based on a very traditional model, the Tupperware or Mary Kay house party,” the artists note. “We encourage dialogue about power by tapping into the same women’s networks that Mary Kay uses to sell lipstick.

“At the same time, this model also benefits the project in important ways; in particular, the house-party format allows people to feel at ease amongst an audience of friends, colleagues or new acquaintances.”

After the screening, Barbara Baumgartner, Ph.D., associate director of the Women and Gender Studies Program in Arts & Sciences, will host a discussion with the artists.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum and the College of Art’s Fashion Design Program — both part of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts — as well as by Ursa’s Night Life, the Office of Residential Life, and Women and Gender Studies.

For more information about the screening, call 935-7918.

For more information about the project, go online to