Coping Mechanisms for Endangered Species

A commission by the curatorial collective for the 54th October Salon in Belgrade, this performance was inspired by the curatorial theme of the exhibit (No One Belongs Here More Than You) and by the incredible chandelier in the venue.

Coping Mechanisms for Endangered Species talks about birds and feminists. The feminist is represented as a bird in peril who becomes trapped in the crystal chandelier which served as an opulent centerpiece in this once-robust consumer environment. Helium balloons are used to remove the dress from the woman and send it to the sky. Beneath the dress is “elderly drag” – long, grey pubic hair and sagging skin.

video HERE performance begins at 5:40 mark

Text (excerpt):
Pain is nature’s way of making you pay attention to something wrong with you. But nature also has a way of buffering the pain connected to fascism, sexism, racism, homophobia and corporate greed. You may be too busy – trying to feed your family, pay your rent, develop your artist statement, get your father into an alcoholic rehabilitation program – to pay immediate attention to your psychic injuries. Remember a special effort must, and can, be made to keep hopes up, remain positive, and keep working for spiritual survival and emancipation.

The Ivory-billed Woodpecker Feminist died in 1987 when she married a rich man and no longer had to think about pay equity and the low conviction rate for rapists in the western world.

The Bush Wren Feminist, concerned that any sort of activism would make her unattractive to the opposite sex, put on a corset and died in 2009 in Alberta, Canada.

When nothing happens and the dismantling of oppressive consumerist structures isn’t imminent, feelings of boredom and loneliness can creep up on you. Your reaction can often be more of a problem to your survival than any physical factors such as pain, cold, thirst or hunger. Foraging for enlightenment is a good way to avoid boredom and maintain a positive attitude by planning and doing activities that, hopefully, will improve your situation.

The Carolina Parakeet Feminist graduated from university, found a nice husband with a good job in local government, decided that feminists were all hairy-legged dykes and committed hari-kari in front of a Zara boutique in downtown Cologne.

Misogyny can be one of the most dangerous threats to survival. It is most important that misogyny be recognized as early as possible. Fortunately, symptoms are easily recognized and preventive measures will avoid a tragedy.

Avoid panic and stay calm. Keep busy, both mentally and physically. Make decisions and act on them. Think positively and plan solutions to problems. You have only one life to live.