Every year on Halloween, evangelical religious groups set up hell houses: horrific theatrical events that showcase sins like fornication, abortion, and same-sex relationships—sounds like a scarring experience for those who don’t take shame in these ‘sins.’ Yet for the participants in these hell houses, their artistic efforts are a form of activism. This year, Toronto-based feminist artist Allyson Mitchell, along with a crowd of community members, constructed and performed Kill Joy’s Kastle: A Lesbian-Feminist Haunted House. Outlining the horrors of feminist pasts and presents, the hand-made installation and queer-crafted performance exorcised from the grave things which scare those both outside and inside of Mitchell’s artist, activist, and academic community.
I took a trip to the lesbian-feminist haunted house to experience the spookiness.
Design Week Portland takes over the Rose City this week, including many events that highlight the work of feminist, queer, and female artists. There are dozens of events, so Bitch Art Director Kristin Rogers Brown and Museum of Contemporary Craft Associate Curator Sarah Margolis-Pineo put together this list of their favorite picks.
This month, Bitch collaborated with women-in-literary-arts group Her Kind to ask poets thought-provoking questions about art and language. Here, poets Stalina Villarreal and Ire'ne Lara Silva talk over issues of likability, art, and how to "write from your cunt."
If you don't know the work of Australian artist TextaQueen, lucky you, getting to learn about the portrait artist for the first time. The "felt-tip-marker super-heroine" creates bright, colorful drawings that incorporate cultural imagery into self-portraits and drawings of others. Though they're created with such simple art tools, Texta's portraits show complex layers of identity, shaped by her perspective as a queer, political, Catholic-raised, Australian person of color.
As Bitch hits issue #59 with Micro/Macro, I thought I would shine a light on some of the "micro" behind-the-scenes thought that goes into the eye candy you see in our pages. This post features sketches from illustrator Adriana Vawdrey.
It's not often that income tax audits make big news, but the mammoth of an audit that's been thrown Venus DeMars andLynette Reini-Gambell, a married couple and a relatively successful musician and poet respectively, has been getting some local press in their home state of Minnesota. This MinnPost article features an interview with the couple in which they discuss the details of the situation, but in short: the Minnesota Revenue Department is claiming that the couple's respective artistic careers are not profitable enough to qualify them as "professional" artists and is demanding around $100,000 in back taxes for work-related tax deductions the couple has claimed over the years.
As long as I can remember, my mother had long nails. For that matter, my grandmothers and aunts did too. It was a sign of maturity, like big earrings and high heels. But it was practically a cultural practice, since most of my friends at school and their mothers kept their nails unpainted and shortened to the fingertip. And until recently, I was still the only one of my roommates whose nail polishes didn't fit in one box.
You'll have to forgive the puns. "Cliteracy," for one: a knowledge of women's bodies and female sexuality. "Phallusy," for another: patriarchal misinformation. At Baang + Burne's booth at Scope NYC (one of the many fairs in New York for Armory Week), artist Sophia Wallace rewrites the language of women's bodies, of female pleasure, of (you guessed it) the clit.
Her immersive installation, Cliteracy, features a wall of "Natural Laws" that dominates the space and its viewers, suspended neon text, and a series of posters that read like dictionary definitions, eye sight tests, or political slogans. Wallace's medium here is all text, whether it illuminates, acts as reference, or forces viewers to squint.