Sweat Sweetie (2019), ongoing series

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The first programming in Sweat Sweetie was a performance in April 2019 where I interpreted physical violence that was enacted on my sister by her employer. This performance borrowed text from my sister and utilized a punching bag as a conduit for my body’s reaction to reading the words she wrote about the incident. I used this straightforward depiction of exercise and text to further complicate the layers of race and gender in this unfortunately common situation of gender-based workplace violence.

A private element of the performance was the careful wrapping of my hands before putting on the boxing gloves. This slow preparation was kept as a private metaphor to mirror the emotional support I had been a part of with my sister for the month since the incident had happened. This moment shifted quickly as viewers entered the space, the gloves creating force and sound against the bag. At one point the bag is so unweildy that I hook my arm around it, a hug, to console the shaking bag and retreat to then punch it again. The ups and downs my sister experienced permeates me and those around her: shaky moments, angry (punching) moments, hugging moments.