Artist Statement 

Who is Puberty and how does she hit? 

 

 

Gender, agreed to be a social construct, regularly flirts with sexuality. They can be distinct from one another, but are usually involved. Both are serious subjects of study consistently under scrutiny to understand what they really are; yet, they operate on fluid spectrums of ever-expanding lexicons. It is this very instability of their categories that produces such intrigue and pleasure for me as a maker. Driven by haptic obsession, it is through making that I try to understand them, and push their instability more. 

 

With performance-based video, interactive objects and sculpture, I ask what it means to be a woman – and to understand the narrow bandwidth in which she is performed despite her shifting reality.

 

Considering gender to be a stylized repetition of acts, I study how woman is looped in social space. I study her from a coming-of-age transition meaning that I focus on when bodies learn to repeat the gestures that communicate this gender. I use techniques suitable for children’s crafts, such as papier-mâché or hand sewing. I often employ materials that are marketed to young girls to perform the socially appropriate script, such as spandex leotards and fake fingernails. Withholding their cultural signifiers associated with to-be-woman, I merge these techniques and materials to interrupt existing codes. I use them like building blocks to suggest new combinations, encouraging known scripts to be re-written, abstracted, improvised, and experimental.

 

My studio is a visual playground to probe how 'woman' exists. Like a wedge, a tool that both secures and splits other forms, I go in-between to produce work from a space where gender categories dissolve and cross-fade.

All images on this website copyright Sidney Mullis. All Rights Reserved.