Art Metropole is pleased to kick off Toronto’s Pride Week celebrations with the launch of Celebrity Lezbian Fist by P.G. THING CO., an artist’s project headed by Paige Gratland. Please join us to celebrate, and meet the artist, on Saturday June 21, 2008, from 1-3 p.m.
Celebrity Lezbian Fist is a limited edition series of silicone fists cast from the actual hands of famed and favourite queer cultural icons. The series includes fists by JD Samson, GB Jones, Eileen Myles, Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan, Cathy Opie, Cheryl Dunye, Phranc, Jack Halberstam, Harmony Hammond and Savoy “Kapow” Howe. Inspired by the infamous cock-castings by rock groupie Cynthia Plaster Caster, the fists come in a range of punchy colours personally selected by each participant.
In the late sixties, Cynthia Plaster Caster began approaching rock stars she admired at concerts, gaining access through the groupie line. Casting the musiciansâ€™ cocks in plaster, Cynthia started a notorious collection â€” including phallic replicas of such notable stars as Jimi Hendrix and Noel Redding (both of The Jimi Hendrix Experience), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), and Wayne Kramer (MC5.) Similarly, the porn industry has cast and venerated the members of porn stars such as Ron Jeremy and Jeff Stryker, packaging them as dildoes for the sex toy market. The Celebrity Lezbian Fist subverts the notion of power and virility associated with the phallus and places it on the fist, a symbol of queer sex, activism and artistry. The final packaged object teeters between an emblem of political resistance and a sex toy â€” an Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove.
Celebrity Lezbian Fist, P.G. THING CO. 2008.
Multiple, cast silicone, paperboard box. $250
Proceeds from the sale of Celebrity Lezbian Fists will be donated to The Triangle Program; Canada’s only classroom for LGBTTI2QQAP Youth.
Filmmaker, video maker, performance artist. Mostly known for her association with the Canadian neo-folk queer band The Hidden Cameras, Gratland’s visual art practice tends to center around queer celebrities, gossip and the actualization of queer sexuality. Her most famous piece Celebrity Lezbian Fists is a series of silicone fists cast from the actual hands of queer cultural icon (JD Samson, Eileen Myles and Jack Halberstam, just to name a few). Her video work gravitates around similar concepts. Her 2004 video The Fabulous Life of Raige and Payne is a mockumentary about the rise and fall of dance-sensations-turned-lesbian-couple Raige and Payne, from luscious lifestyle to their ultimate demise. In Tit Pin (2004), she asked her friend to show their breasts anonymously on camera, made a short film out of it and created pins for everyone to trade.