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Performed at Art Week, Cape Town, 2019, Nico baked confectionary and brought it to the gallery. Dressed in stripper drag, she iced and plated the cakes in front of an audience, drank pink champagne to the point of intoxication, splooshed in the cakes, and cajoled the audience to eat the cakes and tip her. The placement of sex work in a gallery was a disruption of the heteronormative expectations of the white suburbian housewife dream, as coded onto white, femme and fetishised bodies. The cakes, crossing the divide between the private home to the public sphere, echoed the punctum of this manifestation of Nico, as a body that de-privatises intimacy and domestic and gendered labour, whilst simultaneously visibilising them through transaction, with the audience-as-voyeur finding itself in a place of mutual surveillance.

Eat Cake 2019.jpeg