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.