Teaser + the milk : /sweet 5 + pop 2.2


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Teaser (Trigger Warning) from BARBARISM on Vimeo.

the milk: /sweet 5 from BARBARISM on Vimeo.

Pop 2.2 from BARBARISM on Vimeo.


Artist Statement

BARBARISM aims to challenge injustice through comedy, caricature, and art-as-activism. Our videos attempt to create new possibilities of being through the embodiment and performance of possibilities. With regard to the theme of “feminist un/pleasure,” we approach desire from a position of zero pleasure—embodying street harassers, amorphous abuse, and dehumanizing objectification—and infuse it with the positive pleasure of cohesion and creation. Through dark humor and slanted visual analogies, we queer unpleasure (everyday abuse) into pleasure (feminism plus comedy). In our dark and shadowy video “Teaser,” we bring the violence of objectification to a point of absurdity in order to render misogyny more apparent; we reveal “yeah titties!” to be as ridiculous as “like a carrot!” Our second video, “the milk: /sweet 5,” concerns the symbolic breast and the fear, desire, and revulsion it inspires in the baby, who represents abuser, in its relation to the mommy, who is abused. The baby’s desire for the breast is compounded by the breast’s fearsomeness as the baby perceives the breast as rejecting and invalidating. According to object relations theory, the splitting that occurs when good (breast) and bad (breast) cannot be reconciled results in destructiveness and paranoia. Hatred and desire of the breast representing woman means a significant lack of empathy in the patriarchy. Finally, “Pop 2.2” speaks to the unconscious hatred and trained violence within normative desire in sex: is it connection, or is it merely synecdochic “pussy”? Within what we understand to be rape culture, the hierarchy of masculinity over femininity institutes both a hatred of and desire for “pussy.” By way of feminist appropriation, we can expand the concept of ourselves (both object and subject, part and whole, “masculine” plus “pussy”) through alternative representations of gender, seeking to expand the realities of identity, interdependence, power, and desire.


BARBARISM is a multimedia project developed by Sarah Secunda and Rebecca Katherine Hirsch. BARBARISM produces visual art, time-based media, and manifestos that are designed to expand the understanding and experience of individual multiplicities within absolutist social hierarchies. When they’re not BARBARing, Sarah is a filmmaker-activist and former feature story writer for The Indypendent while Rebecca is a writerly film flitter, organizer for Permanent Wave Philly, and sexuality educator.


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