lights camera sound actions | time-based contemporary art

Lean Cuts,1977

Lean Cuts postcardPerformed at A Space, Toronto
May 28 & 29, 1977

Lean Cuts explored the nature of performance, exposing vulnerability and effort within a gendered context of personal exposure, news and storytelling. (Effort is conventionally hidden in dance.)

Video (1/2″ b/w) played on three monitors  – a live feed, a “drone” of looped lap swimming which played throughout the work, and a third tape of women talking about their grandmothers (mine died while making the work) and footage about Margaret Trudeau from the daily news.

The action consisted of jumping until fatigue, climbing a post in the gallery and falling down, jumping for a rope extended between posts, and “frying” a feather and a pork cutlet with a lighter. The final gesture was pushing the pork cutlet to the audience.

Text included personal statistics, reading about Margaret Trudeau from mainstream magazines, and stories about men’s disgust with the smell of women’s genitals.

It is worth noting that this work has been remarked on for the use of the site. At the time it was criticized for being narcissistic, while my intent was to approach the personal data from the conceptual perspective of vulnerability and person as nature of “material” in performance.
ec/October 2013

Click here for a page of notes from Spill, 1977, no. 5.
Video soon.

Photos: Private Eye / Thaddeus Holownia

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