Maggie-Rose Condit MFA Visual Studies Thesis 2016
Sugar Coated explores the ambiguity and absurdity found in constructions of femininity and female bodily rituals within American popular culture. I regularly experience disorientation as a result of internalized normative bodily and behavioral expectations placed on my female self. However, my creative practice has granted me an opportunity to alleviate my anxiety, as well as a feminist platform to criticize the normative expectations surrounding the murkiness of girlhood. I align myself with feminist theorists, such as Susan Bordo, Yvonne Tasker, and Diane Negra, who critique subjects such as the deeply-ingrained nature of gender norms, and the contemporary co-optation of feminist rhetoric to reinforce a capitalist economy. The discrete boundaries between disciplines such as stand-up comedy, performance art, and sculpture blur through the common language of strategies including self-deprecation, bodily abjection, absurdism, and female masochism. I draw inspiration from feminist comedians and performance artists such as Patty Chang, Sarah Silverman, Molly Shannon, and Maria Bamford, to address the complexities of body politics.
Though it may never be possible to fully conquer internalized bodily expectations, witnessing and performing these acts is both cathartic and inherently subversive. This paper will examine my past work and influences, culminating into my final work in the thesis exhibition. This is a paper about public shaving of pubic hair, feminist bar arguments, awkwardness, fart suppression, and girl/clown performances.