Lean Cuts explored the nature of performance, exposing vulnerability and effort within a gendered context of personal exposure, news and storytelling.
Video (1/2″ b/w) played on three monitors – a live feed, a “drone” of looped laps in a pool 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.
This work has been remarked on for the use of the space. At the time it was criticized for being narcissistic; my intent was to approach personal data from the conceptual perspective of vulnerability and person as nature of “material” in performance.
Performed at A Space, Toronto, May 28 & 29, 1977
Private Eye (aka Thaddeus Holownia)
Lean Cuts – click for notes from Spill, 1977, no. 5.