The LadyFace // ManBody zine is the result of a collaboration between photographer Robin Black and visual artist Heather Cassils. Formatted as a fine art periodical, the zine features powerful pin-ups for a shifting cultural landscape. A limited run copy of the publication can be ordered here.
Cuts: A Traditional Sculpture is a durational performance resulting in a 2 channel video installation, a pin up, photographic ephemera and a zine. The work is structured in dialogue with two seminal performance works, Eleanor Antin’s Carving: A Traditional Sculpture,1972 and Lynda Benglis’ 1974 Artforum Magazine intervention Advertisement. My new work interprets these pieces, while linking them to performative practices associated with the production of hypermasculine and transgendered bodies.
Antin’s performance (in which the artist photographed herself while dieting) responded to the notion that Greek sculptors found their ideal form by discarding unnecessary material from their marbled blocks. Rather than crash diet, over three months I built my body to its maximum capacity. I did this by adhering to a strict bodybuilding regime, constructed by master body building coach Charles Glass. David Kalick, a nutritionist specializing in diets for sports competition, designed a diet where I consumed the caloric intake of a 190-pound male athlete. I also took mild steroids for eight weeks of the training.
I documented my body as it changed, taking 4 photos a day, from 4 vantage points. I collapsed 23 weeks of training into 23 seconds creating a time-lapse video (part of the 2 channel installation Fast Twitch Slow Twitch). Juxtaposed against the speed of the time lapse are highly stylized scenes, which play in painful slow motion that depict moments from my training - a raw egg dropping into a mouth or a decontextualized face as it "maxes out".
When my body reached its peak condition in its transformation, I collaborated with photographer Robin Black to stage a homage to the Benglis’ Advertisement. Through the lens we created images, powerful pin ups, which show my body as I have always wanted to be seen. Rather than buying advertisement space in Artforum Magazine, we present to you our own publication. Substituting my ripped masculine physique for a double ended phallus, the LadyFace // ManBody zine signals the shift in our cultural landscape and the role of artists like Benglis in bringing about those changes.