a cutting in

The term, cutting in, is a baking term of combining flour with a fat such as butter, lard, or shortening. The flour in this piece was meant as a way for me to blend into the wall (therefore disappear)- one type of defense mechanism- and then work with the other defense mechanism, fat. I built it around an area I have felt vulnerable and throughout the performance worked to keep it there. As it heated up from my body heat, it became more and more difficult to hold, thus, the implication of how how difficult it is to maneuver throughout a healing process without being noticed. It’s overwhelming, all consuming. I bobbed as if to comfort a baby but instead am, in a way, self soothing this new entity of fear, sadness, and anger. That bobbing moved the lard throughout my body truly changing my silhouette and therefore how I would no longer look quite like myself. 

The durational piece references women’s work but also the cognitive work post-trauma- the literal emotional and physical weight trauma creates. The lard has a dual symbology as it also is a direct reference to the body. As one experiences emotional and physical trauma, the body responds by protecting itself. One aspect is to create a literal armor in the form of fat. I make a very specific reference to this trauma in my garment which is a slip inscribed with #metoo made by Martha Posner

Performed at Grace Exhibition Space as part of ITINERANT PAF curated by Hector Canonge; Duration: 2 hours
May 21, 2019; photo credit: Adriano Farinella & Melissa Grey