B O D I E S O F W O R K & T H E
I N B E D W I T H A R T I S T S R E S I D E N C Y
2 0 1 5 - 2 0 1 7
A series of performative encounters, installations, and photographs, including an Artist's Residency. I was working as a stripper, and very upset and a bit indignant around how socially isolating it was. When you tell people you do sex work they tend to either vilify or sexualise you - no matter how long you've known them prior, in some cases. At the same time my sister (an artist) held a two hour 'artist's residency' at McDonalds, but denied my participation as a 'non-artist', even though the artistry and drag of the high femme position, and the hustle as this highly responsive, skilled, never-ending series of improvisations, was becoming clearer and clearer to me. I was sort of thinking into the reality vs. fantasy of these positions and actions, how they impact our notions/illusions of 'free will', and then also about the class assumptions and various legitimising mechanisms that allow people to call themselves 'artists', rather than just 'gendered' or 'sex worker', and the different kind of access and acceptance that gives them.
The first work was a series of recorded conversations produced with Jo Glanville done at 4:30am in my apartment when I came off shift from club work, with various artists, sex workers, and dancers who I could get to agree (Dean Hutton, Robert Hamblin, Ed Young and Andrew Lampbrecht) as to what constitutes an 'artist' and what brings recognition of the body as a site of aesthetic production within this framework. It then expanded to a photographic series, where I worked with photographer Sarah Kate Schafer, performing intimacy with various artists in exchange for their 'cultural currency' (image) - thinking through the idea of 'community' as being one of the legitimising mechanisms for claiming the title 'artist'. At some point I ran out of artists, and became exhausted of the approach (not actually being in or from the 'art world') and so co-opted another - the 'residency' - which I hosted in 2017 in my bed with the support of NPO ALMA MARTA, and where artists could apply to be with me and a project in my bed.
Below and left: Some posters and selfies