Women's Journal

To Be a Woman is To Perform

To Be a Woman is To Perform
Photo Courtesy: Tracy Moore

By: Nicolas Corsaro, FLXNSOCIAL PR FIRM

In an all-white room adorned with simple wall panel molding, light dances across every inch of the space, reflecting off a giant mirrored disco ball. Artist Wolves London-Liberace (a name she adopted after what she describes as a ‘cathartic’ experience) flails the ball around her body in a never-ending circular motion. Out of breath, she lets out a long-winded guttural sound. The toll on her physically is evident, her ability to maintain the dizzying motion mesmerizing.

When asked about the sentiment, “To be a Woman is to Perform,” she nearly falls over, continuing to swing the ball. She gives no verbal response, only varying sounds that match the intensity of her act. When questioned further about whether the sentiment resonates with her, she stops, out of breath, and hands the ball to the photographer, Tracy Moore. Half laughing, she describes the act as “nearly ridiculous.”

Catching her breath, Wolves requests water, emphasizing the importance of hydration. She mentions that one must drink at least 64 ounces of water daily, pointing out the added weight and the societal pressures women face regarding their appearance. Despite the physical exertion, her beauty remains untouched, her makeup flawless, her hair perfectly in place.

To Be a Woman is To Perform

Photo Courtesy: Tracy Moore

“To be a woman is to perform,” she states after a pause. She challenges the listener to consider the brutality of that statement. She elaborates on the physical and mental toll of her performances, comparing them to those of Marina Abramovic, the “Mother” of performance art. Wolves reflects on the categorization of performance art as a genre for women, noting the peculiar expectation for women to endure and perform, often to the point of exhaustion.

Wolves London-Liberace, with a background in social theory and fine art, shares a harrowing personal story that underscores the brutality of performance. She recalls a miscarriage, describing the traumatic experience and the expectation to appear composed shortly afterward. She emphasizes that enduring brutality is intrinsic to womanhood.

Her partner, Andrew Ghost Carothers, and the photographer, Tracy Moore, both experienced similar losses, understanding her pain. Wolves asserts that being a woman is the performance, highlighting the resilience required to navigate societal expectations. She mentions a recent performance, “I Wish I Could Make Something of Substance, but Alas I’m Just a Girl,” filmed by Carothers. The piece resonated deeply with her, making her feel seen and understood.

Wolves explains the physical toll of the performance, spending three hours on a stair stepper, which left her bedridden for days. She reflects on the historical marginalization of women in art and now sees performance art as a badge of honor, a testament to the brutal yet resilient nature of womanhood. She draws a parallel to the myth of Sisyphus, humorously suggesting that Sisyphus should have been a woman.

To Be a Woman is To Perform

Photo Courtesy: Tracy Moore

Her upcoming performance, “In Bondage,” explores themes of femininity and brutality, incorporating excerpts from Joan Didion’s “Play It as It Lays” and scenes of self-inflicted harm through botox injections. The absurdity of the act, she asserts, mirrors the absurdity of life and womanhood.

Artist: Wolves London-Liberace @callherwolves
Photographer: Tracy Moore @tracethamac
Technician: Andrew Ghost Carothers @shotbyghost_
Photo editor: Matthew Romasanta @mf_romasanta  

Published by: Holy Minoza

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