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#1

2016
Condoms, water, red thread, card.
40cm x 40cm x 40cm

After reading Arlie Hochschild’s The Managed Heart (1983), I started to understand better the aspects of my personal experiences with what she termed emotional labour, ‘the point is that while you may also be doing physical labor and mental labor, you are crucially being hired and monitored for your capacity to manage and produce a feeling.‘ Hochschild studied airline hostesses in her research, but I felt the term most aptly applied to the job I had had a love-hate, stop-start relationship with for a long time: stripping. It was only confirmed by the fact the book was given to me by a fellow dancer.

As I watched Bertrand Bonello’s slow-moving, hypnotic film L’Apollonide, or House of Tolerance (2011), I started to wonder when the border broke down between the laboured emotions and the genuine affections. After countless hours reading discussion forums such as punternet.com, I discovered a bizarrely charming and sensitive issue: that of sex workers and clients becoming emotionally involved. This sense of yearning and agonising within ambiguous power play was the drive behind this work. I felt inspired to create something organic and alive with a tender fragility, something to capture the same sense of hunger and insecurity.