Tit for Twat
Tit for Twat:Madame and Eve in the Garden, is the first section of a three part photo and text montage narrative. The so-called original garden seems to be the source of much confusion about human nature and the nature of human sexuality. This piece takes quite literally the taunt often heard on American trash TV in the early 1990’s that if “God had wanted homosexuality it would have been Adam and Steve or Madam and Eve,” and explores the implications of such changes to the creation myth. The garden girls are interrupted and provoked amidst their own originary narrative by questions from the expected television hosts: Oprah, Geraldo, Donahue, Sally Jessie etc. This is apparently depoliticized space is described by the oddly universalized narration by the various talk show hosts. In the last two panels Madam and Eve encounter one another and begin to understand a world even more expansive than the original space explored. The second chapter is called Tit for Twat: Can We Talk?. Here Madam and Eve actually appear on a talk show and answer questions from the studio audience, and are there interrupted and misinterpreted. Can We Talk? explores how the media (read “snake”) promise information but rarely deliver or actually give voice to the individual.
Following the narrative trajectory of the creature that exists out of time in the 20th century, the original pair become the hot media cover story of the moment and their appearance on daytime television launches their travels through the archives of western culture. As a woman of African “origin” or perhaps the “original” African, Eve has the strange experience of discovering that her significance has been written out of history and science. Madame is a pierced and tattooed woman of European “ascent” (for to say “descent” would confuse linear history) is outraged to discover their erasure in contemporary culture and protests, “EVE WAS FRAMED!.” Presently, Can We Talk? comprises six completed panels.
This is an ongoing epic. I am not seeking an absolute end to the project but will continue to add new panels as they occur.
Tit for Twat discusses such issues as theories of origin and female narratives of desire for knowledge. Myths and scientific theories of origin have been used to justify racist and sexist systems, theories of artistic originality have created the cult of the auratic art object which supports its market-derived exchange value. Madam and Eve are able to comment on these ideas in their status as women from another time. Tit for Twat addresses the biblical creation narrative of Genesis and the presumption of heterosexual origin and its relationship to other theories of origin. Notions of innovation and origin in history, creationism, science and material culture have particular relevance in this epic project. Of particular interest is the intersection between biological and photomechanical reproduction. The work uses photomontage, text and narrative, and the visual narrative source is illuminated manuscripts and early strip mixed with television. Curiously, while I am critical of a linear history that leads retrospectively to the original object, my working method is a hybrid of photographs that I make and text that I draw by hand, the layout maquettes that are planned digitally and the final object is a series of one-of-a-kind photomontage artworks.