Homage to the Tweenage Sleepover

by Rebecca Sweets

Artist Statement

This work was a collaborative installation and interactive performance art piece I conceptualized and then executed with Kerry Xu. Together we transformed a living room into a classic tweenage slumber party; a sweet, intimate, cozy, and immersive environment. Focusing on the rituals, obsessions, and brief freedom of parental authority - the homage was an exploratory space where entrants peeped into the precious details of the space and interacted with tween characters. The room was littered with magazine posters, toys, books, a corkboard with photographs, diaries, an old television playing Aladdin on VHS, and clothes scattered over the floors and couch. Period tweenage music like the Camp Rock soundtrack and Hilary Duff played in the background on a radio.

The audience experienced the work by exploring the sleepover space and interacting with us (as tweenagers) as we conducted different activities. We hosted ongoing activities such as nail-painting, temporary tattooing and friendship-bracelet making every hour or so. We wanted entrants to experience coming of age nostalgia, a sense of girlhood they may never have had the chance to. We welcomed all participants into our intimate recreation of middle school sisterhood.

In collaboration with Kerry Xu. Photos by Richard Rhyme.

Rebecca Sweets is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist. Through tangible, performance, and interactive mediums, Sweets explores the cosmic enchantments and hindrances of digitality, circling between intimacy, identity, and the imagination. You can find her at rebeccasweets.com and @chiquitasweets on Instagram.