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
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Part of a series of performative encounters, installations, and photographs. 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 which was this 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 Post Shift Sessions, which It then expanded to a photographic series, Fantasy Friday Featuring Real Artist where I performed 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 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 which also extended the photographic project.