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Cut to the Measure of Desire

Live Performances in Photographic installations, 2010-11

Cut to the Measure of Desire is a series of performance installations in which I embody my femininity as a state of perpetual, fallible exhibitionism. I pose within the scene, an imperfect being concealed within a 2-dimensional idealised world. My knees become misshaped from kneeling for prolonged periods of time and I am repulsed when sharing a gallery window with a skinned rabbit as we both sweat in the hot sun. The aim to uphold the illusion of perfection is futile and I suffer in the attempt.


Discussing this work in Being Gorgeous: Feminism, Sexuality and the Pleasures of the Visual (London: IB Taurus, (2015), Jacki Willson wrote:

‘The artist is staging the process by which she is seen as ‘an object of sight’, an object of another’s gaze’ (p. 51).


‘On the one hand particular motifs of femininity can anchor the female body safely to a fixed sexual identity where the female subject internalizes an image which seems to be organized by normative heterosexual desire. On the other hand, Cut to the Measure of Desire reveals other ways of exploring our relationship to the gaze and marks out a more complex relationship between looking and being looked at which does not annihilate the // subject. In Cut to the Measure of Desire, rather than internalizing the image the Other has of us, this image is externalized and as a result becomes strange and unstable. There is an unsettling glut of signifiers, which creates chaos and ambivalence. The image disrupts through its excess. Over-determined objects which are usually immediately readable and meaningful in and of themselves become nonsensical in their overuse and appear grotesque, parodic and meaningless’.(pp. 53-4).

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