Studio 303 Presents THE LACTATION STATION Breast Milk Bar, May 26
Studio 303 & OFFTA present THE LACTATION STATION Breast milk bar, a performance art work by Jess Dobkin (Toronto), ONE DAY ONLY, May 26th 2012, from 1 p. m. - 4 p. m. @ Usine C Hall, 1345 av. Lalonde (FREE!).
Audiences are invited to "quench their curiosity" by tasting samples of pasteurized human breast milk at The Lactation Station Breast Milk Bar, an interactive performance art piece conceived and presented by Toronto-based performance artist Jess Dobkin. Participants have the opportunity to sample small quantities of breast milk, donated by local lactating new mothers at this public "tasting". This performance was first presented in Toronto back in 2006.
The performance comes out of the artist’s own experience as a new mother, and her interest in cultural issues and taboos surrounding breastfeeding. In preparation for the performance, Dobkin spent months researching and planning, looking at cultural representations of breastfeeding and motherhood, as well as health, safety and legal issues. Dobkin says, " I want to invite a dialogue about this challenging and most intimate of motherhood rites by using women’s first-hand experiences along with some irony and humour at my Lactation Station Breast Milk Bar. I want female and male participants to discuss the issues honestly, with a sense of play and without judgment. I am interested in taking the primal bodily function of breastfeeding, which has been socially regulated as a private and concealed act, and bringing it to a public environment. This project re-contextualizes something often regarded as indecent or repellant, offering a celebratory view. A substance that nourishes us in our infancy later becomes a curiosity in adulthood. Though many drink it exclusively for the first months of life, the memory of that taste and the sensation of drawing milk from the breast are forgotten. No two women’s milk tastes the same, and is influenced by things we ingest and our unique biology."
Jess Dobkin’s work is presented at museums, galleries, theatres, universities and in public spaces around the world. She has toured internationally, and has performed, lectured and conducted performance art workshops in the U.S., Canada, Germany, Belgium, and the U.K. Her Lactation Station Breast Milk Bar received international audience and media acclaim and was named in the "Top 10 Performances of 2006" by NOW Magazine. She has taught as a Sessional Instructor at OCAD University and the University of Toronto and is a Member/Co-curator of the 7a-11d International Festival of Performance Art. Currently she is Guest Curator of Harbourfront Centre’s HATCH residency program and a Fellow at the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto. For more information about her work: jessdobkin.com.
"My art is an instrument of freedom and transformation. I use my creative practice to process my own experience and understand the world around me. I use playful humour as a strategy to establish a sense of comfort and safety for an audience so that we can broach challenging subject matter, such as queer sexuality, sexual violence and mortality. I have always carried a sense of heightened urgency in the creation and production process, and in my most recent projects, this urgency has become a central theme in my work." - Jess Dobkin