Flowing locks and monster bodies: Hannah Raisin and Atlanta Eke

Hannah Raisin's work incites a response that circulates through disgust, delight, and disbelief. Since beginning art school in 2005, Raisin’s performative investigations into the limits of her own body have been visceral and demanding; the Melbourne-based artist has filmed herself eating a bunch of red roses until she threw up, pouring milk on herself out the front of a theatre showing Mary Poppins, and feeding caviar to her sequin-clad vagina. Raisin’s practice is fuelled by her personal frustrations with societal restrictions and norms and thus her employment of feminist and performative strategies are intuitive rather than theoretical or political. In a voice that is both playful and affective, Raisin’s work speaks to the startling relevance of feminism to a younger generation of Australian women. Flowing Locks (2008), for example, presents the young and beautiful artist gracefully dancing in a lycra bodysuit in the forecourt of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA). The snapshot of flawless femininity is broken by an extraordinary amount of bodily hair that sprouts from her pubic area and armpits to flow in the wind. After four decades of hairy feminist pits it may come as a surprise to some that female body hair continues to pack such a punch.

Buy   or   Subscribe   or   Login