kup0rQKMhmr3HMD0Uc3L__2D-_hIttu6Rw2j-r1dEvswy6r4dAwKW2eSa-YPhJBs_RS927RisHmYgU51ciF06oDocumentation of Casey Jenkins‘ performance Casting Off My Womb. Image via http://hyperallergic.com

Casting Off My Womb was a 28-day performance by artist Casey Jenkins, that took place at the Darwin Visual Arts Association. A local television network documented the performance and later made it available on youtube, gathering over 6 million views and triggering hundreds of angry comments

Reacting to the hate mail, Jenkins wrote an article in The Guardian, where she explains that:

My image and work have been consumed, contemplated and commented on by millions across the globe. It’s interesting then, and gives an insight into the performance’s heart, that all of this electronic crackle and buzz has not altered my identification with it at all.  […]

The response to the clip was immediate, massive and, for the most part, negative, marked with fear and repulsion. The word “ick” features heavily, as do “eww”, “gross” and “whyyyy?”. Exclamation points are afforded entire comment boxes, broken only by the odd question mark. Everything comes in for criticism; the menstrual blood used in the work probably cops the most, but viewers have taken swipes at my hair-cut, my eyebrows, my skin, my home-city, my choice of words, my knitting technique and the colour of my shirt. The nature of the response wasn’t unexpected, but the scale of it was and it’s been fascinating to watch.

3bc76b21-92b7-4ad1-b6b0-5b991a4b0b5d-bestSizeAvailableImage via http://theguardian.com

[…] As the deafening response to my work demonstrates, there is a hell of a lot of clamouring noise in society about what a person with a body like mine should and shouldn’t be doing with it. The pitch and volume of opinions can be so overwhelming that it’s difficult to quiet the noise, step back and choose a clear and autonomous path. With Casting Off My Womb I have attempted to do just that by paring concepts about body parts and activities related to women back to their most elemental. Over the course of the month I sat with the steady rhythm of the knitting needles and of my body and created a work that I have complete confidence in, a confidence that thousands of internet opinions have not dinted.

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IMG_9256Documentation of Sofia Magalhães‘ exhibition Retratos (“Portraits”). Image via http://joanabutton.blogspot.pt

IMG_3826Documentation of Sofia Magalhãesexhibition Retratos (“Portraits”). Image via http://isabelpiresdelima.blogspot.pt

Yesterday, by accident, I came across Sofia Magalhães‘ work in a documentary by Luís Hipólito called Diagnóstico: Dinamite (“Diagnosis: Dynamite”). The documentary featured a work of Magalhães that mixes photography and ceramics, something I had never seen before. I then realized I could have seen her exhibition Retratos (“Portraits”), where she displayed a series of old photographs decorated with humorous ceramic elements, but was not aware of the work.

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