I often put my body at risk in grueling guerrilla style public performance works. The body at risk to a critique culture and as well as a form of confrontation with my audience. This confrontation is intended to increase human interconnectedness. It is also a nod to the harsh labor my family endured to move from slavery in Mississippi and Alabama to middle class life in the Midwest. I openly acknowledge that my generation is the first to never pick cotton or work as butlers while attending school. This brings up my awareness of hierarchy and classism. Because f this I purposefully use my performances to cut social hierarchies through collective actions, like forced crowd surfing at the CAA conference or the participatory performances lead my version of a feminist superhero in "Operation Catsuit."
My Operation Catsuit persona is me being 100% me. My hope is that this encourages others to be 100 % themselves. Both within and outside of the Operation Catsuit series I often perform solo durational actions like jumping jacks and high kicks in heels for 2-3 hours at a gallery with a full face of makeup or push-ups in heels in an intersection. These performance actions are designed to highlight the repercussions of racism and misogyny, as well as the power of a woman taking up space in ways that are traditionally reserved for cis straight men in the United States.
Photo at right is by Jennifer Coard.