This ambient vocal performance and talk with Q & A will focus on highly cultivated aesthetics: their significance, their function, and their relationship to gender identity. What do Dolly Parton, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, Nina Hagen, Sun Ra, and Divine have to do with radical feminism? Explore authenticity as a designed aesthetic that mirrors true identity.
Reba Mitchell is a feminist performance artist, sound artist, vocalist, activist, and educator. Mitchell has been performing for two decades, holds a Gender Studies degree from Rhode Island College, and is a board member of Girls Rock! Rhode Island. Her vocal work is aesthetically varied, but consistently explores the relationship between gender and sound. Mitchell recently completed a month long durational sound art residency, INTERIOR, during which she sang continuously for four hours a day in AS220’s Project Space gallery. This created a meditative state for the artist which, coupled with the “4th wall” between performer and audience, led to an experience of deep solitude for the singer. Despite the frequent feminization of singing as a medium, gendered expectations were subverted by the claiming of states which women can rarely enjoy in public spaces: privacy and autonomy.