[BRICK] (2022)

“...when we are not at home, when we are asked where we are from or who we are, or even what we are, we experience a chip, chip, chip, a hammering away at our being. To experience that hammering is to be given a hammer, a tool through which we, too, can chip away at the surfaces of what is, or who is, including the very categories through which personhood is made meaningful – categories of sex and gender, for instance, that have chipped away at us.”

– Sarah Ahmed, “An Affinity of Hammers”

But what if this hammering is experienced not as a methodical “chip, chip, chip” so much as the relentless pounding of a sledge hammer? I can feel it deep within my chest. The goal of this hammering is not to sculpt trans women into reasonable subjects but to eradicate us altogether. It is a demolition.

In this performance, I take up this hammering through the attempted destruction of a pile of bricks roughly the weight of my queer, disabled, butch trans body. The bricks – both a stand in for my body and a representation of the intersecting systems of oppression I seek to dismantle – are strong and will persist despite my hammering. I am disabled. My body will tire quickly. It will hurt.

Why is so much of queer and trans performance art based in pain?

Do I need to hurt myself to be a real artist?

How is pain prerequisite to my existence as a trans woman?

Why do I put myself through this?

you only want me for my body (2022)

in the summer of 2020, i had a studio visit with a more established, cisgender, queer artist. he said it was interesting that i chose to wear both a bra and a jockstrap in the video i had just shown him. “that would make a great photo series,” he said, as if i had stumbled upon something really great by accident; as if my work had no other value than the gender confusion caused by my choice of clothing; as if, on some level, this wasn’t just me. i was interesting, or at least it felt that way.

you only want me for my body is a selection of recent works that take up how my disabled, butch, trans body is consumed by cisgender audiences. These include a recent self-portrait, the above-mentioned video with an accompanying found sculpture, and the remnants of a performance in which i paint poetry on the front and back windows of neutral ground’s window gallery while slowly stripping down to a bra and jockstrap.

this work was supported, in part, by a sk arts independent artist grant, as well as tender container’s peer mentorship platform, do trans people dream of non-binary sheep?.

untitled tattooing performance (what did you do to yourself?) (2020)

As part of the Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency, 2020, and as a way of exploring the collective societal impulse towards transmisogyny, I asked the public and my community to choose between a series of transmisogynistic phrases in an online poll, the results of which I tattooed on my body in a performance via Zoom and Instagram Live.  Each of the phrases were taken from online messages I've received via various social media and dating apps. I'm interested in how, by tattooing one of these phrases on my body/taking it into my body, I can subvert the sender's original intent, transforming it into something cathartic  and empowering. During the performance I was joined by my partner, artist and academic Cat Haines, for a casual conversation about our experiences with transmisogyny.

"How fucking loud do I have to yell?" (2015)

"How fucking loud do I have to yell?" is a necessary temper tantrum provoked by years of abuse, violence, erasure, and entitlement to our bodies/voices. It is a pathetically weak invocation towards an end that is never achievable – one in which trans feminine and intersex bodies are not treated as monstrous abominations, but as facets of celebrated human reality. We explore the limitations of our voices as they are swallowed up in a wave of screeching guitars and electronic noise; a sonic background whose purpose is to outvoice us. "How fucking loud do I have to yell?" attempts, and ultimately fails, to encourage cisnormative, dyadic, and masculine expressions to shut the fuck up and listen for once.

How fucking loud do I have to yell to get you to even use my real name? To stop apologizing and just do fucking better? To stop killing people like us? Legitimacy is not granted to loud voices. It is granted to experiences that are the most like those in power. Your voice makes me lose mine.

Using Format