Is it too late to start by wishing a Happy New Year? I know we’re almost a month into 2019, but it still feels fresh to me.
I’m starting off the year as an artist in residence through the Weisman Art Museum’s Target Studio for Creative Collaboration. The platform, curated by Boris Oicherman, serves to bring Twin Cities artists and University of Minnesota researchers into meaningful collaboration.
For a pilot project this semester, I’ll be convening a series of workshops with entertainers from Minnesota strip clubs to collaboratively identify how dancers see their work, what their ideal structure of labor is and how this could be implemented. We will then develop an artwork addressing the changing value and structure of labor in society, the stigmatization of erotic dancing and the place of sex work in the feminist utopia. I’ll be documenting the process in blog posts on the WAM website starting in February.
On Wednesday, February 20 from 7-9pm, the project kicks off with a public panel at WAM.
Dr. Beth Hartman will present a brief overview of how Minneapolis has regulated erotic dance in the past, and Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies PhD candidate Jayne Swift will talk about current efforts to regulate VIP rooms at strip clubs. Presentations will be brief to leave plenty of time for discussion about how regulation can better serve the safety and labor rights of dancers rather than the moral anxiety of neighborhood groups and city officials.
Despite the preparation and research leading up to this project, I’ve still been able to do some other work: Last summer I completed another neon sign, this time incorporating animation. I’m also hoping to install collectively we support your autonomy in a new location this year, so keep your eyes peeled if you’re in the MSP area.