In order to investigate relationships of women to power, Tanya Mars takes on the role of Queen Elizabeth I. She addresses the camera from various public and private places - the throne, the street, the bedroom - and speaks crudely and ironically of virginity. A soliloquy inspired by contemporary feminist jargon, mixed with tirades of traditional feminist discourse, Pure Virtue is a performance which explores the rapport between video and theatre.
"The question that Pure Virtue asks, then, a question imbedded in the history of Western culture, is : how can woman (particulary, here, heterosexual women) reconcile exercising social power and control over their lives, with having relationships with the men marinated in male privilege - men who persislently plot to expand their own domain of power? In Pure Virtue this question is asked in a roundabout way, through the topic of virginity, a slightly anachronistic topic whose concern for the present is indicated by a line in the voice over: "...how might one lose it to one's own liking?" That is, to retain the state of virginity is also to deny the woman her own desire, so the point is rather how to satisfy her desire without having to yield power to a man."
KIBBINS, Gary. "Pure Virtue", Fuse, (mai, june 1986), p.14.