SPOOKY BOOBS COLLECTIVE, a collaboration between artists Amy Cannestra, J Myszka Lewis, and Maggie Snyder (Mae Hymn), presents The Pervasive Curse from April 28 to May 25, 2018. Join us for a reception and live performance du

The Pervasive Curse

Arts + Literature Laboratory
2021 Winnebago Street
Madison, wi 53704
April 28 - May 25, 2018
Reception Friday, May 4, 2018 5:00pm
"The Pervasive Curse" is an exhibition that combines three ongoing projects by the SPOOKY BOOBS COLLECTIVE; "The Patterns' Vicious Influence" printed material, "You have the right to remain a ____." performance and remnants of previous performances, and "Now you know your ABC's" sound piece.

"The Patterns’ Vicious Influence" utilizes wallpaper as a conceptual vehicle to discuss the way language saturates our environment and imprints itself onto our psyches. The wallpaper patterns of this series are built using words that are used to diminish and minimize women; these words range from descriptors that disregard our ideas (bossy, crazy, over emotional) to names that attack our bodies and sexuality (cunt, pussy, slut).

Using many of the same words hidden within "The Patterns’ Vicious Influence", our interactive performance piece "You Have the Right to Remain a _____." visualizes the way hostile language is used to actively shame those not following patriarchal standards. For this interactive performance, we interrupt unsuspecting participants and place them under momentary arrest for various crimes against societal norms. The allegations we assign to our participants call out behaviors and attributes such as displays of confidence, independence, emotions, and other normal and even admirable qualities. For instance, the crime of voicing one’s opinion may lead to one being labeled a bitch. After informing our participant the details of their charges, we take their mugshot-styled portrait and finish processing their paperwork. The arrest, and tongue-in-cheek performance, ends with the statement “you have the right to remain (introverted/confident/stoic/not smiling),” validating and encouraging our right to behave as we want in spite of these insidious labels.

"Now You Know Your ABC's" is an audio piece that quietly plays throughout the gallery. A handful of voices slowly and matter-of-factly recite our misogynistic alphabet. “A is for aggressive… … b is for bossy… … c is for crazy…” This work critiques how early in life we learn and internalize sexism or a gendered understanding of social norms.