1 pair of embroidered gloves (worn during performance)
1 pair of ceramic glove stands
2 rolodex viewers with 24 archival inkjet images
Edition of 1
SPIT & SHINE is the first piece in an ongoing body of work that pays homage to the first women-run erotica magazine that featured lesbian erotica in the United States, titled On Our Backs. Made in collaboration with the HERstory Archives, this piece recreates one of its popular narratives (boot blacking) as an interactive peep show.
Re-envisioned and performed by the artist and her wife, images from the boot shining ritual are printed and placed inside a pair of a Rolodex-style giphoscopes that viewers must turn to 'flip' through the narrative. The two views document the two different butch/ femme perspectives of the performance. Along with the Rolodex viewer, two small speakers accompany the piece playing a digital soundscape of rubbing, spitting, and metal moving objects. The gloves worn during the performance, embroidered with ‘SPIT’ and ‘SHINE’, are also displayed on two custom titanium glove stands.
On Our Backs defined the look and politics of lesbian culture in the 1980s, and played a definitive role in the feminist sex wars of the period, taking the side of sex-positive feminism. SPIT & SHINE recreates the boot-blacking ritual between a dominant and a submissive female, to conflate past and present queer narratives, and reference a pre-cinema viewing format. With this work, I aim to pay homage to monuments that now only exist in the illusion of memory, and experiences that exist as landmarks in queer history.