MERCY 1999

This series of objects are inscribed with text taken from a book that has had a tremendous impact on me for its ability to articulate the horrors of female oppression: the novel “Mercy” by Andrea Dworkin.  

A Doll That Pees is a baby doll stuck with pins spelling out “It’s when they give you a doll that pees that you recognize the dimensions of the conspiracy.”  Freedom for Girls, A life-sized blow-up sex doll, is inked: “There’s a special freedom for girls.  It doesn’t get written down in constitutions.  It’s the freedom where they get to use you like they want and you get to say, I am, I choose, I decide, I want.”  

His Wife is made from my mother’s stained kitchen apron, in which she cooked countless meals for 10 children.  The embroidery reads “His wife took the rap for being mean because she did things - raised the kids, cleaned the floor, said eat now, said sleep now, said we need money for clothes; a terrible bitch of a woman, a tyrant making such demands, keeping track of the details of shelter.”  Blood on Cement, which is meant to reference the work of Carl Andre, reads:“Why are there no great women artists?  Some people got nerve.  Blood on cement, which is all we got in my experience, ain’t esthetic although I think some boys will do very well with it. They’ll put it in museums and get a fine price.  Won’t be their blood, it would be some cunt’s they whispered to the night before, a girl’s, and then it’d be art you see.”  Finally, “If he follows you and you have the urge to smash him to death, He’s Asked For It, hasn’t he?” puts a feminist twist on the claim that women who act or dress a certain way are “asking for it.”

All work ©1999 except where noted