SPARE RIB REVISITED
CARRON LITTLE AKA THE QUEEN OF LUXURIA
I’ve been creating public performance projects where I start by interviewing the public since 2010. The interviews are transformed into poetry and the poetry becomes a starting point for both performance work and a visual practice. In 2016 I was selected to be Chicago’s artist in residence in Lucerne, Switzerland where I created “Spare Rib Revisted” in which I interviewed eight women between the ages of 21 to 91 and selected one woman from each decade over the course of the residency. The interviews varied in length—some lasted for three hours, some were two hours, and so on. On the second last day of my residency I held a dinner party for all the participants. The conversation around the dinner table was an extension of the interviews, opening up space for intimate stories to be shared between strangers. Participants openly discussed the impact of the Second World War and the role Switzerland played in remaining impartial. We discussed sexism and how that had impacted each woman’s life. I performed the poems I had finished for the participants.
The work shares the stories of women’s lives and addresses important questions for our time—for example, what is it like to be an immigrant at the age of five in a foreign country? When you grow up mixed race in a predominantly white community, what responsibility do schools have to create a safe and respectful environment? What do we need to do for women who are in labor and how is our healthcare system meeting the needs of women? I am continuing to perform the work in public spaces, retelling the brief history of each woman and performing the poetry—addressing the pertinent issues of our time.