In 1928 Claude Cahun painted a heart on her upper thigh and inscribed the words "I am in training, don't kiss me” across her chest. Balancing two weights in her lap, she preened for the camera in a manner that accentuated signs of hyper-femininity: paste-on heart shaped nipples, painted-on lips, and lacquered-down spit curls.
“In training for what?" she prompts us to ask. Training to become a woman...or to un-become one?
For Hard Femme Soft Butch the artist approaches the question of “in training” from both an activist perspective to investigate queer lineage and sexual identity. As a durational performance, viewers watch two channels of videos for one hour as Cahun’s heart and the text “Femme” are tattooed on the artist's upper thigh. The audio accompanying this work is a recording of Flawless Sabrina reading LaFleur’s tarot cards during a visit with her in New York, Summer 2016.
Filmed in Dallas, TX with tattoo artist Char McGaughy at Gold Dust Tattoos.