Why are we re-creating a feminist artwork from the ‘70s?
As young self-described feminist artists, we have looked to the work of feminist artists from the 1970s for inspiration. Strategies were developed - especially the blending performance with protest and activism - that responded to social injustice.
What changes have we made to the original work?
We are including men in the performance. The performers are not wearing blindfolds so they can make eye contact. The Signs are worn on the body rather than carried high as protest signs, bringing attention to the body as the site of the individual, the site where sexual violence takes place, the carrier of strength and change.
The performers will all be wearing street clothes rather than uniform costumes emphasizing the everyday nature of the crime of rape.
The performance will not be completely silent - there will be a call-and-response vocal element that is inspired by the “mic check” strategy used by the Occupy Movement protesters. It is a simple but effective method of collectively harnessing the power of individuals’ voices into a chorus of dissent. The audience is encouraged to participate in the “mic check.” The myths and facts of rape in the 2012 performance address new topics, including rape in prisons and in the military, as well as male victims of rape.
Why is it important to speak about the subject of rape?
Rape statistics have not changed that dramatically since 1977, actually, the amount of reported rapes have increased (which possibly points to the fact that more people are reporting rape). Sexual assault destroys the fabric of society and we want to see an end to this violent crime.
ELANA MANN + AUDREY CHAN