Something’s Fishy

 

Performance and installation, Nottingham at the Surface Gallery (2004), street action Birmingham (2005), live art @the Goods Shed, SITE festival, Stroud (2012)

Using the metaphor ‘fishy’ for suspicion, visual metaphors for the imposition of patriarchal discourses and the power structures that surround the female body, are performed by tying 4 large mackerel to my arms. These bloodied and smelly fish were filled with cut-up newspaper texts about women and spilled out of their mouths.

The gendered body is a site of inequality and political imposition, and in performing a dialogue between media, the female body, audience and site (the street, gallery, or shed), an inter-textual interaction creates and re-codes possibilities for re-representation.

Each different sited performance mixed the roles of the news-seller and fish-woman, the fish contrasting with evening dress (a masquerade of femininity), or a man’s shirt (street action, Birmingham). Texts were read and humourously discussed with audiences, or stories told and sung.

Creating possibilities for a different female voice, personal and yet publicly drawing out dissension and suspicion in a visual and poetic way. During the duration of the performance the fish rot, smell and fall off.