This new series of work presents female body fragments that evidence a history of contact: impressions, wounds, and restrictions. It allows a viewer to wonder about the inherent violence of operating a body, particularly a female body. I recognize that the term “female body” is charged and complex, and can only speak from my own experience of inhabiting mine. The work is by no means an exercise in exclusion, and hopefully can encourage a sense of expansive sensitivity, and even tenderness.
These drawings are an exercise in and celebration of vulnerability in a world ready and willing to consume and harm female flesh. Dismembered female bodies are often seen in crime dramas or described in wildly popular true crime media. These gory objects are almost always meant to titillate– to enact taboo fantasy while simultaneously condemning these actions as morally abhorrent.
My work is not meant to recreate this phenomenon, nor pay homage to it. It is grounded in a deep sensuality and a sonorous emotional register. They waver between being obviously figurative and then vaguely legible, and sway between the social, medical, and psychological. This series is not meant to cast this body as a victim, but as an active participant in performances of lust, participatory violence or constraint, and love. There is also Power here. It is ultimately an investigation of the nature of female desire and its accompanying pain, forged inside a culture roiling with patriarchy and misogyny.
What is the nature of female fantasy? Can it even be imagined given the subjugation of this gender throughout our history?