Eighteen and Forty-Five

Eighteen and Forty-Five, (2004)
DVD, Colour with sound, Duration 3’20”, Dimensions variable. Music: Moonlight Serenade, Glenn Miller Courtesy of BMG, 2003. Cat No. 82876560302


Eighteen and Forty-Five (2004) installed in the lift at Serlachius Museum Gustaf, Finland, (2022) as part of the exhibition Trish Morrissey, Autofictions; Twenty years of photography and film


Trish Morrissey, Photographs and Video, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, 22nd January – 14th March, 2010


Eighteen and Forty-Five (Stills)


In the video projection Eighteen and Forty-Five, two women, one old, one young, dance in turn among washing drying on a clothesline, while wearing the same wedding dress. They dance to the nostalgic sound of Glen Miller’s ‘Moonlight Serenade’. The older woman dances as if with an imaginary partner, the younger woman dances for herself. We don’t know who these women are, as we never see their faces, but they are the artist and her mother. The drab surroundings and the harsh concrete on which they dance temper the romance of the movement and sound. It might be seen as a metaphor for life itself – the fairytale life that all young girls hope is before them, is actually just washing and pebbledash. Performed on the anniversary of the time they both wore the dress – the mother on the occasion of their wedding forty five years previously, and the graduation ball of her daughter eighteen years ago. The two women experienced a time of intense anxiety and hope, of heightened emotion and expectation, they danced into their future.