Tag Archives: reactions

Flippin’ the Doily

I had my pink fuck doily on display at the Triton Museum in Santa Clara, California a while back.

It was opening night, artists and guests schmoozing and filling up the place.

A friend came by and told me that someone had turned my doily over.

“Ha! Really?” was my first reaction. It’s pretty much equally readable upside down. I wondered if they were satisfied.

And then I got mad.

This is a museum. Don’t you know the rules of a museum?! You’re not supposed to touch things! I can’t show these things at work, I can’t show them at home, hardly anyone in my classes thinks they’re funny. Can’t I have just one place where it can be out in public but everyone will just leave it alone if you don’t like it? Is that too much to ask? Isn’t that what museums are for? It’s crochet, for heaven’s sake. It’s not going to hurt you.

No, I didn’t say these things but I thought them.

The last show I participated in here, I displayed a book of stringed garbage. You can read all about it here. It involved a lot of garbage and I stored it in a large garbage bag, which was part of the display.

During opening night, people threw their trash in the bag.

At another show with another doily on a small end table, the oblivious artist who won best of show set his wine glass down on it. I politely picked his glass up and handed it back to him. He had no idea why and didn’t even ask.

“So you make unlikely participatory art – deal with it,” Baubo ESP’d to me. I got back to laughing. My friend pointed out the woman. No one in our group knew her. And I didn’t want to cause a scene or make her feel defensive so I didn’t approach her.

Weeks after the show ended, I received a phone message from someone I didn’t recognize. I called her back. She thanked me for returning her call and then said, “I want to apologize for turning your doily over.”

“Ohhh, so this is who this is. Oh, that’s fine. Gee, thank you for calling. I have a hard time finding acceptable places to display these works and I was really hoping that the museum would be an acceptable place and …” I went on.

When I stopped, she quietly repeated herself, “I just want to apologize for turning your doily over.”

“Oh … ok. Thank you for calling.”

I hung up the phone. I was moved that she had made the effort to call me, which involved several phonecalls to get my phone number. But then I was even more moved because it was apparent that she didn’t like the piece but still wanted to apologize. I am still wowed. Thank you, whoever you are.

Am I a Pimp?

My friend S contacted me: Congratulations on the extended run. I hope you’re selling lots of genitalia. Does that make you a pimp though??

No, pimps only rent it. … must say the comeback was from my most retort-worthy friend, GZ.

Left up to me, I’d go off on this diatribe of my huge wish/hope/desire/longing that I lived in a world where every single person would have full control over their own and to never rent it without full choice, never be in a life situation where they are forced to rent, where any activity would be consentual completely through and through. and through. forever. and ever and ever.

But S, you meant the question lightly. So I’ll stick with GZ’s witty response.

MissionMission blog

MissionMission enjoyed both the crochet show at SOAP and the embroidery show at Benders.

They’re also garnering some comments that go back and forth, as this art tends to do.

I really like this blog – very open, considerate, and community minded.

I’ve never lived in San Francisco but LOVE visiting it pretty much anywhere. I’ve learned my way around the Mission because of the art galleries I’ve shown work at. There is So Much Good Stuff Here!!!

I was just at a gathering last night after gallery sitting for my show at SOAP. The Million Fishes Artist Collective hosted the dorkbots group. The speakers were Very Interesting and the group was such an eclectic collection of curious scientists, engineers, artists, creative people!

I LOVE the Mission!

What does a crucifix mean? What do my physical looks mean?

The day before my show opened, I participated in an unrelated community collaboration / brainstorming event.

I was paired with a Filipino woman and we were to talk for a few minutes about what was alive for us.

Having just come from putting the finishing touches on my first solo art show, I told her about it.

Me: It’s about addressing secrets, taboos we hold emotionally in our bodies that contort us when we can’t be honest about them and let them out.

She: Is it paintings, photography?

Me: Wellll, I do it through provocative doilies.

She: Oh? Tell me the worst doily you’ve made.

I considered the gorgeous onyx and gold cross around her neck.

Me: Really?

She: Yes, tell me the worst one, the worst message.

Me: O … kay … well, I made a cock that’s big enough to go over the back of a chair … I demonstrated with my hands flowing over the back of my chair. She was already laughing. Encouraged, I added the next detail about the spray and she was doubled over in her chair with more laughter.

Me: I’m curious exactly what part is funny for you.

She: You don’t look like someone who would do that!!

Me: Well, I was considering the cross you were wearing and wasn’t sure it would be a good thing to share this.

We laughed many more times that afternoon as we passed each other to join different groups. It is not lost on me that I was having my own stereotypically-tending brain blown just like she was. How pleasant.

Competition is Tough

Two young guys walked into my doily show while I was gallery sitting.

One sauntered into the middle of the room, laughed, and proclaimed, “Now this is my kinda show!”

I asked them how they found out about the show.

We were just walking by. Trying to go to the gun store but they were closed.

Then we saw all these interesting things in here.

Sorry you were second choice to a gun store … but … their sign was bigger.

What Happened?

I’ve been creating these items for 10 years and I expected to find that everyone would just get a chuckle and we’d move on. But that didn’t happen. And it kept not happening. This wasn’t how I remembered life 20 years ago, say, when I was starting my first job. What happened?

Yes, some people do chuckle and then move on. But others are offended. Some have difficulty talking with me now. Business relationships took strange twists. I’ve been told, “I thought you were a good girl” or “you’re gonna get yourself in trouble”. Others just choke and don’t know what to say.

One male friend pleaded with me not to pull these items out of my pockets. A stranger turned one of my doilies over in an art museum out of embarrassment or shock, I presume, but then weeks later called to apologize. That was unusual.

On occasion an intriguing conversation comes out of it. A couple women have learned about their own genitals through these pieces — “oh, so that’s what it looks like!”

A perfect stranger simply explained that circumcision in his native country, India, is almost unheard of. As he spoke, he casually picked up my crocheted uncircumcised penis and waved it in the air like the baton of a band director.

The range of responses to these seemingly benign items has intrigued me to be more public and have this conversation on a wider level with more people throughout the world. I want to see what’s out there.

So tell me — what’s out there?!

Fricatives in Pink

fuck doilyThe world can now go on spinning. All those pretty crochet flowers and pineapples, duckies and bows were making me crazy.

I had this doily discreetly on display at a BABA Book Arts Jam.

Near the end, a woman made a beeline for my table. She stopped and looked around the table like she was looking for the next clue in one of those traveling puzzles.

Finally she said, “I heard there is a doily here that says ‘fuck’.”

I moved a few pieces off of the letters and after a while she said, “I keep my house pretty far away from the normal … but that would work.”

Filet crochet with #10 thread

About 18-1/2 inches long by 8-1/2 inches wide

Guffaws with Doilies

second to having my portrait painted with a penis … by a penis? … was catching gazes from the passersby while fondling my antimacassar:


as the crowds slowly passed my table, I would scan their eyes while rubbing my doily up and down.

often enough I got my favorite response when someone just busted out laughing. a woman or a man … they’d nudge their partner to take a look.

some did this privately and I pretended not to see.

still others saw me and quickly averted my gaze. this totally surprised me at this venue.

my booth mates and neighbors had various theories about this, some about how the response could’ve been so visceral and automatic that the viewer wasn’t prepared for it. and it was being elicited by the use of a … a doily?? I dunno. your guess?

as soon as I sensed someone might be uncomfortable, I’d go on to find another set of eyes, searching for that lovely guffaw. if there is a purpose to my life these days, it is to give good guffaws, get good guffaws, to share in the big guffaw!

Photo courtesy of Richard ChauDavis, my booth neighbor for this event