Afterswarm // RE:Present Me // 2013 // Anthony Greaney Gallery // Boston, MA
Calling upon the exoticism and queerness of "freak" and sideshow exhibitionism, during which visitors may look upon the figure of a performer, my piece is positioned as an inverse or post-incident representation of a historic honeybee bearding of the body.
Through a series of controlled stings, I will embody the essence and venom of 36+ worker bees, both the subject of my own artwork and exploited muse of contemporary media. I will represent my figure in the resulting inflated and repulsive state, once it is stripped bare of the bees' own image, which might otherwise cloak the body and eroticize the act of viewing it.
Initiating a transferal of substances in attempt to fuse the energy of a colony with my own, I will meditate on my existence as one part of a larger system, making visible a pulsing exchange between object and subject beneath the skin. I will also address the sexualization of the body as it compares to the practice of art modeling and overt sexual ambiguity of honeybees and their "keepers" (Queen's function as both ovaries and testes of a super organism, Her duality between pampered matriarch and colony's sex slave, bee-bearded ladies, and the idea of a beekeeper more appropriately termed observer name a few paradigms).