Looking Forward to Being Attacked (digital collage from artist book in progress), 2018
In 2015, I began drawing images sourced from my mother’s copy of a self-defense manual called Looking Forward to Being Attacked, by a Tennessee police lieutenant named Jim Bullard, from 1977. I was fascinated by the tension between the models’ acting and not-acting, Bullard’s reenactment of violent situations, and the cinematic quality of the photographs. Bullard’s premise is that a woman must “look forward to being attacked” in order to prevent attracting the attention of male predators. How instructional can this manual be, given its victim-blaming ideology? Eventually I began pairing these drawings with my drawings of images from my Grandma Syb’s 1952 sculpture textbook from Newcomb College in New Orleans, Louisiana, and using this juxtaposition to create a visual counterpoint to my writing. My current project, currently named Looking Forward to Being Attacked after the original text, questions how my Grandma’s trauma effects my family intergenerationally. In 2018, I created a digital collage of these three elements for the Leslie Lohman Queer Artist Fellowship exhibition at their Prince Street Project Space.