Pick a girl!

2006-06-08 - videostill, camera Abdilla Bacon Performance space, Sydney Biennale 2006


For the 2006 Biennale Kovylina's initial proposal Boxing, which involved the staging of a boxing match where audience volunteers were encouraged to fight with the artist, has been cancelled due to legal concerns. Kovylina is currently in the process of developing a new proposal for her June performance. It is likely she will perform Pick a girl! a 2005 work where the artist pins to her skin a number of cut-outs of naked women. As explained on Kovylina's web site, in Russian, the expression snimat devoychku means to pick up (i.e. to hire) a prostitute, while the verb snimat also means to pick off or to remove. Kovylina invites members of the audience to come and unpin a woman from her skin and discard her. Inspired by Yoko Ono's famous performance Cut Piece (first performed in 1964) where members of the audience were invited by Ono to cut a piece of her clothing away, Pick a girl! makes a broad comment on the politicization of women's bodies with particular reference to the experience of women in Russia.

Pick a Girl!*

 * In Russian, the expression "snimat' devotchku" means to pick up (i.e. to hire) a prostitute, while the verb snimat’ also means to pick off or to remove.

 Pick Up a Girl radically reinterprets Yoko Ono's Cut Piece and imbues it with localisms pertinent to her home country. For this piece, viewers are asked to remove the surgical needles used by the artist to affix magazine images of pin-up girls directly into her body.


© Elena Kovylina, 2003-2008