Over a three year period, Diane Jacobs, compiled a list of slang and derogatory words used to exploit women. Sources for this list came from friends, family, strangers and several slang dictionaries. The words were set individually out of type and letterpress printed. These printed strips were then used to weave women’s undergarments and hats offering references to women’s craft, the body and our misogynist culture.
This work has been exhibited at the Gallery Paule Anglim in San Francisco and the Hoffman Gallery at Oregon College of Art & Craft.
I think it’s important to distinguish that a word can be ingested as either derogatory or empowering based on the context of the situation. I think your Woven Paper Undergarment series is teetering towards empowerment; allowing the woman to be in control and wear these words with confidence and pride. Can you talk about your overall concept behind this work?
I am really glad you feel that way. I started this body of work after an experience I had in a Bart station in San Francisco right after being at a Gorilla Girls event. A man asked me for a quarter and I gave it to him. He said “thanks honey” and I said “ don’t call me honey” and he flew out of control calling me every name in the book. After that I picked up a dictionary on slang and derogatory words. I painstakingly hand-set many many words for this body of work. The words lost their negative power and I reclaimed them.