A Little Nooky, Trocadero Art Space, Melbourne, 2016
” ‘Her’ is a reperformance of Kate Just’s ‘Her Tools’ collage series.
So what I took from [Kate Just’s] collages is that they are very intricate and delicate pieces. They are collages of tools for violence, made from images from women’s magazines such as beauty tools – makeup and so on – encompassing the inherent violence of the conversation surrounding female beauty in the public sphere. So that kind of idea that women are exposed – like an autopsy – that idea of being open on a table and your sexual validation is constantly under question as a woman. I chose to translate these themes – this violence and this eroticism – through the metaphor of the hair.
… I was holding my hair… behind my head… I was pulling it… and I was cutting small pieces of it off with a scalpel blade. I mean obviously, the idea of having long hair is always associated with the feminine, but what’s interesting I think about this work is that in one sense the cutting away of the hair could almost be like a claim towards some kind of female strength or autonomy – kind of like an anti Samson figure. But the way in which the hair is being removed; very very small sections, cut across the back, into the skin, the way that the hair was being pulled back is reminiscent of rough sex, of being dominated. So… the sexual element of the work, sort of goes against that stronger element and puts me in a position of powerlessness. And also, the way in which the hair is being cut across the back with the blood and the wounding. The hair is literally being embedded into the body into my skin my flesh. This autonomy I spoke of previously it comes at a cost…” *
* Artist’s statement