A reoccurring theme in my work is EMOTIONAL LABOUR. That invisible thing women/femmes provide for men constantly and often without receiving any back. Here is a link to an article that gives you 50 examples of how we do this.
Through relationships and service work I have experienced all of these so it influences my work heavily. I make work about the overall female experience which always includes sub themes of emotional labour, sex, mental health, relationships and feminism.
My latest exploration into these themes have brought me to digital collage where I have been laying out my thoughts and lived experiences through collections of imagery and text put together on a photoshop app on my iPhone. Social media has been paramount in my research and overall development of these themes. Through social media I have become a part of a huge network of creative women/femmes where we discuss our daily grievances, relationships, gender, mental health issues and skincare routines.
The importance of social media now is also interesting to me because when I exploring my gender I am always trying to define what femininity is and it always comes back to a performance. Online we perform versions of ourselves all the time. And then we circle back to emotional labour. The performance of emotion to benefit another person. It’s also important to remember that even though these things are performative they can still be draining.
In sex work and service work, the workers are expected to perform for the customers. To act convincingly as if they are having as much fun as the person receiving the service. Through research and discussion I have found that this is also the case in relationships/friendships between women/femmes and men.
I wanted to use the medium of sex work, specifically phone sex work to explore this. I am making phone sex adds that will be parodies of existing adds shown in newspapers that will link to a line I hope to be able to receive through my phone. This is an idea in its early stages so I am working on the visual aspects at the minute hoping it will develop into something more performative.