ART REPORT | 15 December 2015

Art Report writer Adriana Pauly has selected Signe Pierce as one of seven female performance artists to keep on your radar.

7 Female Performance Artists You Need To Know About

By Adriana Pauly

Earlier this month, women took centre stage at Art Basel Miami from Pratt Institute’s panel discussion on Women in the Business of Art, to all the all-female show at the Rubell Family Collection No Man’s Land. A particularly strong showing was made by a slew of popular female performance artists who created feminist interventions to reclaim space in a male-saturated art world. Performances were held at different public art fairs, as well as hotel rooms (Fuck Boi Funeral, a show curated by Petra Collins and Madelyne Beckles), and abandoned pharmacies (The Pharmacy by Otion Front).

In case performance art isn’t your thing, here are a few women that aren’t afraid to make bold statements about gender and equality, even if it makes you a little uncomfortable.

Kate Durbin
The LA-based writer, artist and curator criticises our self-obsession with her Hello Selfie performance piece, during which women covered in Hello Kitty stickers publicly take selfies in their underwear and upload the photos to social media in real time. For the fourth iteration of her performance at PULSE Art Fair, Durbin and her selfie squad began in the fair’s corridors before migrating to the beach, startling and confusing fair go-ers and vacationers alike.

Alexandra Marzella
Also known as @artwerk6666, Marzella is a New York-based artist who has gained a lot of attention this year for the confrontation of narcissism in her relentlessly honest selfies, videos, and performances. the artist shows her often-naked body in compromising erotic poses and movements exploring the intersection of attraction and narcissism.

FLUCT is the collaboration of Brooklyn artists Monica Marble and Sigrid Lauren, who also co-run the Bushwick-based performance residency, OTION Front. Interested in sexuality, control, and the role of technology in American society, their choreographed movements come together to form a glitch in the interaction between culture and social systems that affect identity.

India Salvör Menuez
Menuez seems to be everywhere lately from film to fashion and music, but it is her role as the founder of the Luck You Collective that best captures Menuez’s creative prowess. Here she showcases her own performances, drawings, videos and films – as well as the work of other previously mentioned performance powerhouses, Alexandra Marzella and Monica Miracle. If someone is bravely expressing a female agenda, she’s likely to be close by.

Giovanna Olmos
The New York-based poet, artist, and performer creates work that dissects the intersection of technology and art. Her newest work, How To Sell a Digital Painting, features the artist awkwardly going through a list of fairly obvious guidelines with her audience, ultimately ending with “9. The painting is no longer yours. You may not post it anywhere or send it to anyone else. Delete the photo from your personal collection is a good idea. 10. Like the collector’s Venmo payment to show your appreciation of the exchange.”

Signe Pierce
Interested in deconstructing the beauty industry, Pierce’s performances investigate how companies cash in on female empowerment and advertise products to fuel women’s sense of self-worth. Her short film with director Alli Coates, American Reflexxx went viral this year, which shows Pierce walking down South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach in a blue mini-dress, high heels, and a reflective mask while being subjected to misogyny, transphobia, and physical aggression.

Hidden behind her signature creepy mask, Narcissister’s spectacular performances explore stereotypes of gender, racial identity, and sexuality. The often-humorous performances also question fetishism and the role of racism and sexism in modern constructs of sexuality.

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