As a straight, white male, it's tough writing about lesbians. It's gotten a bit easier now that some of the straight male world's affection has been diverted to the worship of twins (are lesbians even a little bit pissed off about that?). Craft is a natural proving ground for lesbians--sort of like black comedians negating the "N" word by subverting it, the ladies are proving that they, like Rosey Grier, are tough enough to kick craft in the ass. It's called confidence in your sexuality, my friends. Imagine my delight when I encountered the work of Allyson Mitchell, Queercraft diva of the funfur lady Sasquatch scene. In her recent show at the Paul Petro gallery in Toronto, Mitchell exhibited huge pin-ups of fun fur lady Sasquatches that subvert Playboy Centerfolds, turning them into expressions of feminine power...and fur.
I am interested in parody as a means to question some of the values that we hold as common sense - like women should have no body hair, small thin white bodies are the only ones that are sexy and that those bodies are constructed and reproduced solely for the pleasure of the heterosexual male gaze. Parodying such images (like those found in Playboy centerfolds) can make these worlds collide. Recontextualizing and refiguring the image of the female body can hold it up for the construct that it is. You want nature? I'll give you nature! Lady Sasquatch explores these associations and redresses the lack of representation of "different" bodies in popular culture.Take a spin around her website to let her vast body of work sink in. Allyson Mitchell is an activist, artist, and filmmaker. Her work is ambitious, crafty, and dripping with her ascerbic wit. She is currently working on a PhD at York University in Toronto, as well as spreading the word about the growing "Deep Lez" movement. Now if only twins would take up knitting needles against their opressors, the world would be a better place.
LINK Thanks, Helena!