Thursday, April 21, 2016

Like Thunder

My third performance was inspired by women. I took cues from the work of Kate Gilmore, Joan Jonas, Marina Abramovic and slam poet Dominique Christina. I was also inspired by Jessica and Madison's work in the class. I wanted to do something that would speak to an experience in my life that I knew many women my age would share.

Once a month most women bleed. For many, it's a mystery when it will start, often leaving one unprepared. The stigma of seeing a woman's blood is still held strong by our society. There is shame and fear often associated with periods, especially for young girls. My performance was a story that has played out in my life too many times. I wake up covered in my own blood and rush to wash it away. 

At first I wanted to use a very metallic, grating sound to contrast with me washing away the blood. I settled on thunder instead because I wanted the audience to hear the storm in my mind. I liked the comment that was made of how the thunder was rolling in like everything that was coming for the girl as she became a woman. 

I also had the idea to create a mask for this performance. With the short time frame, I decided to not attempt this. Perhaps in a later version of this I would try out using a mask. 

I will post more on this when I finish my video recreation. 


  1. I got goose bumps while watching your piece. I truly truly loved this work. You made me feel like I was right there in the same state of pain and confusion that one experiences when they are getting their first period. I really liked how vigorous you were, it made it feel like the substance is so alien like to your body. I really like the connection to the thunder and not rain because its not washing away any feeling. In fact its brewing up the emotions and pain that is brought by having a period. I also liked that you did your hands too because a lot of times that'd how it goes, when the flow is bad it gets everywhere. You really exaggerated the flow instead of hiding it, showing it for what it is. I might even go a little more with actual fake blood and bring it to the next level or creating that empathy from the audience. I think adding a mask might be interesting, would it be a plain mask? Or like possibly a red one? I think that might be interesting because you don't see the emotion of the performers face and is refused that visual gaze. I would be interested to see how that works.

  2. Your performance, really resonated with me. As my first period was very traumatic and public. I was one of the first girls in my middle school class to get her period and everyone knew. I remember trying to hide my pads and my waste when the bathrooms didn't have a trash inside. And just feeling so ashamed of it for a long time. Your performance captured all the intensity of all of those feelings associated with Menarche. I loved that you went with thunder instead of metal grating sound. The choice of thunder really highlighted your actions and inner emotions. I felt the dark turmoil and anxiousness of the artist during the performance and loved how vibrant the red was. I also liked how it was everywhere, your hands, arms, legs and that some was left over even after you thought you had washed it all off. That feeling of being dirty and not being able to get rid of it really came through. I loved the way this entire piece was focused on your body. You were the center of of the entire piece and there was nothing to distract the audience from your body and your actions. I loved that the water got everywhere and made a mess because that's what pierdos do. Even more so I loved that it got on people because periods do not just affect women but also those around them. It also highlighted that the mess is not confined to a woman's body, it gets everywhere. I am also big on having the audience using all of their senses and becoming part of the art, (even if it gets them wet :)
    Im so glad you touched on a subject that is usually ignored or treated with disdain.
    Loved this and all of your stuff so far.

  3. This piece was truly relatable. I feel every woman has gone through this spiral of emotions when faced with her period. Something you said resonated with me. You mentioned that when you are on your period you feel everyone knows and it is completely visible. I feel that way all the time. I feel so unclean and so apparent as if the blood truly is all over my legs and hands. And there is a feeling of shame with that. You did a phenomenal job capturing this female experience. I think this performance is an excellent conversation starter. It is explicit and portrays this real human condition.

  4. I loved this performance. It resonated with the women in the class and shed some light on the situation for the men, who had very little knowledge on the topic. I understood the feeling of fear and the rush to cover it up, the shame in what was happening to you, and that it was something so alien to you. I loved that this performance was focused on your body, and that you chose thunder to set the tone and convey these emotions. I agree with the point that it would be beneficial to use fake blood to really amp it up- I'm excited to see your video if you choose to post it.