23 June 2008

Meat Bikini: Tan Lines

I feel like...

20 June 2008

Meat Bikini: Sausage Queen

Classic Sausage wear. How many sausages can you name?


16 June 2008

TFJ: Joe Lieberman?

Et tu, Leader of the Lieberman for Connecticut party?

11 June 2008

Meat Bikini: "There is a pervert in every crowd"

Cooking up art - Chris Rose
With her real meat bikini, performance artist makes a rare statement.
Tuesday December 23, 2003

There are some Saturday nights when you know you've found the right place at the right time.
It's a cold night. Real cold.
Neither the word "bikini" nor "barbecue" springs to mind, but here I am at a place called the Lucky 13 Art Studio out on Bayou St. John, about to witness a vivid underground spectacle called "Sweet Meat," in which local performance/conceptual artist Heather Weathers will weave a bikini out of freshly butchered red meat, model it and then grill and serve it to her audience.
When I arrive, the crowd is thin: a handful of photographers who want to capture the event from start to finish, and Susan Roesgen with a recording device in hand, doing a story for National Public Radio.
Wearing a pretty pink gown (a former bridesmaid dress) and a white apron, Weathers is measuring, cutting, sewing. She has 31 pounds of beef shoulder from Dalbis' Meat Market in Ville Platte.
A friend of Weathers, Michele Boulet, picked up the meat for her and, after explaining to proprietor Dalbis Guillory just what it was for, proclaims: "Heather is a legend in Ville Platte now."
For the last performance of Sweat Meat (this is the 13th show since its inception), Weathers got regular flank steak from Sam's Club in Kenner and she invited the guy in the bloody apron behind the counter to her performance and he said he'd come but, well . . . she didn't see him there that night.
She is using darning needles and knitting thread to fashion the meat bikini. She explains that her grandfather was an upholsterer. This, I take it, is related to the performance.
I have seen Heather Weathers perform before. I was at a show that featured her butt-print wallpaper, during which she paints paper canvasses with her butt.
She has done other stuff like this. But a meat bikini, well: That's now and it's New Orleans. It lends new meaning to the term "body of work," no?
There is a point to each performance that Weathers renders unto the public, of course; this isn't just for shock value. She issued something called the Sweet Meat Art Statement before this performance. It says:
"The Sweet Meat Performance addresses the objectification of women. Women are considered as only sex objects within a certain part of our culture. They are the main course or the meat.
"I use the idea of a meat bikini to present this idea in a simple non-intellectual form. It allows the viewer to experience the animal instinct of attraction and repulsion. I am interested in the dichotomy of the live skin and dead flesh . . . The performance is a ritual. I am able to exchange these ideas by offering them to the audience. It is your choice to partake or not of the flesh."
For a moment, I have this weird image of Paris Hilton doing this performance back on that farm in Arkansas.
But back to the story. The crowd has been growing all during the weaving process. A band called Chef Menteur plays ambient mood music with appropriate crescendos. The liquor is flowing.
As Weathers disrobes from her gown and applies her meat bikini, she says: "The texture of red meat is very surreal -- soft, supple and wet." The photographers move in.
She says: "I'm very sensitive to the fact that I'm wearing something dead." She models for the crowd. It's an interesting look, to be sure. Something you won't see on the Victoria's Secret TV special. She cuts the meat bikini off and then starts cubing the meat. Then she grills it. Then she serves it to the crowd.
"There is a pervert in every crowd," she says with a shrug, "who wants the part that touched my breast or touched my . . . " The tribulations of show biz. She offers me some. She is a vegetarian. That's what I choose to be at this moment. Besides, there's no horseradish.
At the end of the performance, she hands out a simple one-page manual on how to make a sweet meat bikini. (And I thought this was one of those "Don't Try This at
Home" sorts of events!) The instructions say, among other things: "The meat should be lean and supple to the touch . . . know your measurements before going to the store . . . stitches should be decorative as well as functional . . . gravity pulls the meat down into place. "Slip the bikini top and bottom off to cook. Cook until tender. Rotate often. Add seasoning as desired."
Pretty simple, really. Anybody with a flank steak, knitting needles and a Weber could pull this off, when you think about it. But then, what would be the point of that?
"Is this art?" she asks me. She pauses, says: "I can't prove that."