In an attempt to make my visual art more performative, I am experimenting with reenactments of the series of portraits I created called “Feminine Whispers” In terms of activism these series explore the secrets women tell each other in whispers. I am obsessed with misconceptions about the female body and its results on the existence of patriarchy as a system. To explain this further, I am exploring how the ways our bodies look and function, oppress us in the heteropatriarchal society. My body is female and menstruates which means it less acceptable under the capitalist system. The way our bodies function then becomes a weakness, which encourages us to hide its functionality away, instead of celebrating it. Through my work, I want to poke fun at how in society simple things like pleasure and pain that the female body experience, turn into unacceptable topics of discussion, and become only feminine whispers to have in the dark when no one is listening.
In the theoretical sense, I am exploring acting our traditional art forms in contemporary ways. For example, painting is a traditional art form, it is also a field that is historically dominated by men. Women’s bodies have always been a subject of interest for male artists. Many naked female bodies have been painted, but mainly by men and mainly white bodies. Sometimes it seems that men painting women is more acceptable than women painting their own bodies and portraits from their own perspective and not through the male gaze. I personally believe female bodies painted by people who own them is an empowering and radical act of self-love. However, I find it hard expressing this idea through just the painting. I wanted to say more than an image, and as I became more interested in performing for the camera, I decided to perform these paintings. Many performers have performed in front of famous paintings to protest to misrepresentations of various kinds. For example performer Deborah de Robertis turning the painting The Origin of the World by Gustave Courbet into a performance by performing the image.
However, there’s a sense of female empowerment for me when I have created an image that I willingly perform next to. It says I’m in ownership of my body and how it is represented.