Journal

Virginia Kennard

PAWA Profiles

Virginia Kennard

PAWA Profiles

She complains ironically about resisting neat categorisation of her art obstructing programming of her work

Performance Artist
2018

Virginia Kennard

PAWA Profiles

Virginia Kennard

PAWA Profiles

She complains ironically about resisting neat categorisation of her art obstructing programming of her work

Biography

Virginia Kennard
Performance Artist

Links

Performances + Writings

Biography

Performance Artist

(My) Woman’s Body is a “DISRUPTIVE POWERHOUSE” (Gorman (Holstein), 2017)

“i was asked recently post-performance what it felt like to bleed live out of my vagina and imbibe the menstrual blood. In that moment? it felt warm. i tasted warm. that was it…not about horrifying sacred spaces”

Virginia Kennard is an explicit body performance/live artist, creating queer works that intersect with feminist theory and abstracted autobiographical practice. She trained as a classical, commercial, and contemporary dancer, whose labour “is nothing else than to constantly embody, disembody, and re-embody” (Lepecki, 2016: 15). Whose output could be a whole greater than the sum of its Euclidean parts. Whose body could be “a body of agency that can politicize something” (Gorman/Holstein, 2017).

Virginia’s focus on body-based practice began with my work as a life model, encountering notional and practical differences in sexualised, objectified, and commodified bodies. She is, and have been, a sex worker, cheerleader, promo girl; these inform/become her art practice. Acknowledging that her earning power benefits from #ciswhitewoman privilege, she realises that her work is limited and complicated by (dis)empowerment, normativity, agency, ethical consumption under capitalism, and neoliberalist bodies-as-art. Virginia uses Amber Hawk Swanson’s ‘Making-Of Amber Doll’ and Adrienne Truscott, Ursula Martinez, and Zoë Coombs-Marr’s ‘Wild Bore’ to situate her work within notions of complicity in a consumerist cultural narrative that continues to place cis white women as the object of the gaze.

As a queer person, Virginia refuses “to accept identity as a static or singular aspect of subjectivity” (Jones, 2016: 4). As a feminist she commits to provisional essentialisms and fixities, where her role as a #ciswhitequeerwoman is to destroy misogyny and patriarchy. Quite a major dichotomy, she is just starting to make art that reflects these nuances, knowing that she is an unsubtle feminist brute, unapologetically, bewilderingly “aggressive”.

As a feminist, Virginia writes about fangirling and fanart as a feminist practice, even writing fanfiction. She complains ironically about resisting neat categorisation of her art obstructing programming of her work. She is discovering no-one writes about building safe spaces to create ensemble explicit performance, so she has to. She has no time for pearl-clutching, knicker-twisting moral panic – she is the Shit Filter. Virginia queers rituals, horrifys sacred spaces, radically menstruates, disrupts matrimony and hopes that her work is ground-breaking and relevant in order to make unfathomable scary exciting future “queer feminist art history…as a form of critical resistance” (Doyle, 2016:68).


[1] THE LATTER PERFORMANCE CONCLUDES WITH “THEY ARE CLOTHED IN THE PRIVILEGE THEIR WHITE SKIN AFFORDS THEM” FROM THEIR ONE TPOC PERFORMER, A DAMNING SELF-REFERENTIAL CRITIQUE IN THE MOST META WORK I HAVE EVER TRIED TO WRAP MY HEAD AROUND. #LIFEGOALS

[2] “My work is undefinable” vs “No-one understands my work!” Woe is me!

References:

Doyle, J. (2016). ‘Just Friends’. In: A. Jones and E. Silver, ed., Otherwise. Manchester: Manchester University Press, p68.

Gorman, S. (2017). Interview with Lauren Barri Holstein. [online] readingasawoman. Available at: https://readingasawoman.wordpress.com/2017/11/09/interview-with-lauren-barri-holstein/ [Accessed 26 August 2017].

Jones, A. (2016). ‘Introduction: sexual differences and otherwise’. In: A. Jones and E. Silver, ed., Otherwise. Manchester: Manchester University Press, p4.

Lepecki, A. (2016). Singularities: Dance in the Age of Performance. Oxford: Routledge, p15.

Performances + Writings

Events + Writings

events
Performance
archive
2021
events
Doom Box Ecstatica
archive
2021
events
Doom Box Ecstatica
events
Performance
archive
2018
events
OPENING NIGHT 2018
archive
2018
events
OPENING NIGHT 2018
events
Workshop
archive
2018
events
WORKSHOP: PERFORMANCE POSTCARD
archive
2018
events
WORKSHOP: PERFORMANCE POSTCARD
journal
Interview
February 17, 2017
journal
It Can Get Bloody Claustrophobic
Interview
February 17, 2017
journal
It Can Get Bloody Claustrophobic
journal
Response
December 2, 2021
journal
Breaking the conformity pinata.
Response
December 2, 2021
journal
Breaking the conformity pinata.
journal
Poetry
February 18, 2018
journal
Sinead Overbye on Virginia Kennard: the girl & the girl & the ghost
Poetry
February 18, 2018
journal
Sinead Overbye on Virginia Kennard: the girl & the girl & the ghost

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