Nina Cristante is an artist, autodidactic nutritionist, Aquarius and my best friend. Had it not been for a mutual friend linking us during her temporary stay in NYC seven months back, I may’ve never been introduced to the full spectrum of her work. Just a subtle trail of digital breadcrumbs. Slow-mo-promo. A whisper, a wink, a bikini body meme. A deliberately ambiguous website hosting austere at-home workout videos and fragments of clients’ food diaries.
Iran (via California), 1997
The 90s band Silhouettt -with three T’s- known as Sepideh in Farsi, consisting of three women, was supposedly the first all-female Iranian band. The name of this song, Korshid Khanom (Lady Sun) from their album, aptly-titled, “Water, Fire & Earth,” conjures up a Witches of Eastwick sensibility, however with Zoroastrian directions instead of New England Satanism. Regardless, it’s pretty amazing how much the movie influenced this particular video. Although the film was made in 1987, it was re-energized momentarily by the release of The Craft in ’95 and other teen goth films. Those shoulder-revealing tops worn by two of the three singers, in dusty mauve and white, really hark back to Cher’s character in the film in her iconic black, shoulder-revealing crop top.
The three women with their purposefully different colored hair is represented here by three, distinct head pieces: green fern, furry white twig and red feather. Although the kaftans and especially the jewelry in the form of hand beads, forehead medallions, face crystals, bangles and the general excess bijoux, reflects the ethnic situation in relation to the Disney-esque head pieces. We find the women against a background of majestic mountain peaks, ancient ruins, and other obvious, pagan landscapes. The choreography is super spell-binding, with it’s hand to face movements, evoking darkness and light. In the middle of the song we encounter a “sexy,” Clarinet solo performed by a young, floppy-mopped Iranian youth prompting the ladies to grin lasciviously (another reminder of cougar-like, witch behavior). Besides that, this song is reminiscent of a lost era of earth mother madness, occult shops, etc.
It is an isolated case of original witch house; witch house ideally referring to middle aged women making dance music about the elements, not the current and rather, mismatched ID.