THE WHITE VILLA
Janey Smith asked me to participate in a Quiet Lightning reading, curated by himself & Nicole McFeely, in which I would do something that violated the commonly expected experience Quiet Lightning normally provides, which is a more direct & expected reading series—i.e. people stand and read their work. As such, I decided I would perform a piece that examined violence & sexuality, both on the page and in the physical space of the performance.
The performance began with me sitting down, reading a narrative about visiting a “White Villa” in the middle of the woods. After reading this narrative, I turned around and began to play a cassette tape of a slowed-down (screwed) version of The Carpenter’s “Superstar.” I bent over a chair and Dean Smith (dressed in a tight black t-shirt, leather gloves, large sunglasses & a baseball cap) began spanking my ass while I read an artificial dialogue about one man cutting off another man’s legs in the “White Villa” and the sexual arousal that such an event would inspire. Smith continued smacking my ass until I completed reading the piece and the tape ended. In addition to drawing parallels between the spectacle of written sexual violence & physical sexual violence, I was interested in challenging the staid idea of queerness & sexuality prevalent at many public readings.