October 20, 2018


Julie Hollenbach

WORK OUT|WORK OUT is a collaborative performance piece by Julie Hollenbach, Gambletron, and Heather Chamberlain, performed on October 20th at 2 pm in the Living Room at MSVU Art Gallery.

This work challenged idealized feminine gender performance through an immersive theatrical romp that included culinary sculpture, hobby craft kitsch, and a multi-media movement score. The action centered around two friends gathering to attempt to a new craft: constructing sculptural ‘selfies.’ However, as their crafty afternoon unfolded, the friends abandoned the arduous task of performing femininity to perfection; opting instead to glitch, disembody and otherwise intervene in the prescriptive codes of mainstream feminine culture. This phase of the performance witnesses the friends’ collective embrace of the queer pleasure of gender failure. Throughout the performance, Gambletron mixed muzak, advertising jingles, motivational workout music, and poignant popular culture soundbites to create an immersive score that mapped the emotional and psychic action of the unfolding scene. WORK OUT|WORK OUT exercised middle-class white femininity as a rigid ideal prescribed by capitalism that works to sell products, entrench aspirations of upward mobility, discipline gender to bodies, and colonize spaces with boundaries of access.

Photographs taken by Kylee Nunn.

This project was generously supported by Arts Nova Scotia.