Katie Piatt & (maría)petra fortes-schramm
July 26 - August 16, 2014
InFATuation is a collaborative show between Katie Piatt and (maría)petra fortes-schramm investigating and reclaiming the space in which (fat) female bodies
As body-positive movements have come into public discourse, fat-acceptance and fat-positive movements have been met with increasing scrutiny and animosity, most often wrapped in paternalistic concern for fat peoples’ health. What kinds of agency can fat parties claim? What sort of sizeist conversations are occurring? Are we adding to the fat/skinny binary? In what ways can we challenge, even break, the beauty/health standard?
Through personal narrative, video and sculpture, Katie Piatt will address inherited bodily commands aimed at her habitus. Petra Fortes's in-process digital and analog research aims towards creating a fat pedagogy in partnership with online and IRL audiences that will culminate in a manifesto.
Performance, participation, and problematic cupcakes!.
“I like you…….but you’re BIG,” was the confession of love said to me by a friend-of-a-friend one drunken night in college.
I told him, “I don’t think I’d open with that. It’s not cancer, it’s just my body.” Even Drunk Katie knew what was up.
Although seeming sassy, I felt sheepish and at fault for the “truth” presented to me in the form of sweet nothings.
* * * * *
“Suck it in,” my mom commanded at my belly and me every day until I was fifteen. She would tug at her sweater, forthright in her own self-hate, unable to understand why I wasn’t more confident.
This show is reclamation of the space I take up, a re-enactment of bodily commands passed down. Where do these traditions come from? They need to be destroyed.
[You are participant.]
My name is Katie Piatt, and my body is open for discussion only when I say so.
Katie Piatt is an artist living, playing dress-up, and telling jokes in Portland, Oregon. She has begun exploring the ideas of gender, body, sizeism, and identity not only with her background in soft sculpture and seamstress skills – but also with her new endeavors in performance. Through the art of spoken word, facial expression, body language and costume, she describes the history and effects of her upbringing in the conservative, religious Ozark Hills of Missouri in humorous albeit cringingly honest anecdotes and situations. Katie is a current MFA - Visual Studies student at PNCA. She received a BFA in painting from Missouri State University in 2012.
“Fat” is a label that has been ascribed on/to me, petra fortes since childhood.
I know the size of my body. I know its composition—every dimple, crease, and mark. I don’t know what it means to embrace and/or love my body for what it is or for what I am, or what such a project might look like.
How do I love myself when size is used as a measure of my physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing? When strangers and loved ones make judgments, and take actions, based on a cursory glance?
What do I believe about fatness?
Is self-love an answer? How does self-love fit into conversations of justice, collective identity, and positive change? What of current and past body-positive movements IRL and online? How do they function and who do they serve?
This show is one part collaboration and one part self-reflective research. Through performance, Katie Piatt and I will explore externally projected and internalized sizeist language. Through in-gallery and online conversations, I hope to share potentially empowering information; challenge and question beliefs and assumptions regarding fatness; and come to hone, with the help of others, a manifesto to be presented at the closing of the show.
Please, feel free to contribute to the research: provide critique, suggest a reading, add your thoughts.
With a background in music, art, and community service, (maría)petra fortes-schramm seeks out collaborations with other artists and socially conscious individuals to work toward trans-disciplinary, intersectional endeavors. When not laughing at cat videos or making stuff called "art," petra can be found sharing in domestic banalities with their wife to ensure they both survive graduate school. Upon completing the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, petra plans to work towards making the arts and opportunities for alternative and higher education more accessible in the Salinas Valley in California.
Links to Research, Documentation, and Online Exhibition
-Charlotte Cooper, "A Queer and Trans Fat Activist Timeline,"
-Charlotte Cooper. Fat and Proud: The Politics of Size. (London: The Women’s Press, 1995).
-Curran Nault. "Punk Will Never Diet: Beth Ditto and the (Queer) Revaluation of Fat," NeoAmericanist, Spring/Summer 2009.
-Fat Dykes, "The Fat Dykes Statement," Trouble + Strife 16, (Summer 1989).
-Judy Freespirit and Aldebaran, "Fat Liberation Manifesto," The Fat Underground, November 1973.
-Ragen Chastain, “My Body is Not an Acheivement or a Work in Progress,” Everyday Feminism, July 16, 2014.
-Stefanie Snider. "Fatness and Visual Culture: A Brief Look at some Contemporary Projects," Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society 1, no. 1, (2012): 13-31.