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©Jen Smethurst

RAW PROPOSITIONS

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2022

Through the ritual action of making raw dough - flour - water - knead - water - knead - pulse - heartbeat accelerating - dough - yeast - knead - punch - again - again - again

Raw Propositions subverts and perverts the inherent expectations of childbearing and motherhood imposed upon gendered, female presenting bodies. It questions the anatomical representations of the body and the relations between ritual and tradition in producing sexual rites of passage. In intending to challenge such gendered rites of passage, the 4-hour durational work culminates with the nipples being pierced, while the raw, un-risen dough is cradled in-between the arms, wrapped in a traditional Estonian folklore garment. The nipple piercing alters the physiological functioning associated to the breasts as a direct rejection of its expected apparatus of fostering motherhood. The gloopy garnet-toned blood oozing from the pierced nipples absorbs subtly into the wet and sticky ball of dough. While rocking back and forth, more blood drips in endless cycles of enduring expectations, over and over again.

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