No-Go-Hetero Chastity Slumber Suit
Erica K Lewis in collaboration with Eugenie Meeker and Eli Valko Nigol
No-Go-Hetero Chastity Slumber Suit: A practical demonstration. A performance. A photographic series. A garment. A directional slideshow. A contingency plan.
The female in society is constantly bombarded with heterosexual imagery, is put-upon and positioned into discomfort by everyday interactions and is projected upon by the porn-addled male mind, which persists in dragging fantasy online-landscapes into reality. For queer women who have no interest in men the breaching of these boundaries is further magnified and serves to antagonise. Drawing on her background in the security industry: encompassing notions of Access Control, adoption of Personal Protective Equipment, considerations of 'reasonable' and 'proportionate' use of force in self defence situations and the belligerent use of the male pronoun in legal texts (a symbol of the irrelevancy and ineffectual nature of the law when applied to female victims of crime), Erica K explores new systems of personal protection, enforcement of privacy and personal space which demand and dictate rather than requesting societal permission. With No-Go-Hetero Chastity Slumber Suit, Erica K also tackles the uneasy relationship between masculine-feminine presentation and clothing 'designed for women': the meeting of which is incongruous at best, venturing into bad drag at worst.
Choosing to design in collaboration with Eugenie Meeker of FEM label, whose aesthetic vision is hyper feminine, and working to produce the image series for the directional slideshow with gender non-binary photographer Eli Valko Nigol, Erica K seeks to encapsulate the awkwardness of 'the difficult fit' that is inherent to the queer female experience, in both an emotional and physical sense, in a world flooded by heteronormative imagery and control of cultural commodities.
Erica K Lewis
Architect of unspent emotion. Curator of car crashes and other sound happenings. Erica K (she/her) has toured Australia and Germany with Chicks on Speed as electro drummer and collaborator (2013 - 2015) including performances at Haus der Kunst (Munich), ZKM Center for Art and Media (Karlsruhe), MCA, Mona Foma, Fremantle Arts Centre, ArtSpace and NGV for The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition. Lewis has also toured Australia and the US as a musician supporting international acts such as Le Tigre, Electrelane and Sleater Kinney. Erica K has been the recipient of three national writing awards (including two with Sydney Theatre Company), writes flash fiction and has recently moved into the realm of design and photographic mediums with directional slideshow No-Go-Hetero Chastity Slumber Suit (2016).
Eugenie Meeker (she/her) is the creative force behind FEM - a contemporary women’s wear fashion label that focuses on artisanal techniques within ethical practice, combined with lush colour palettes and a hyper feminine visionary aesthetic. The dreamy label was founded in 2014 after Meeker interned at Jeremy Scott’s Los Angeles studio, having graduated from RMIT’s Fashion Design program. FEM aims to inspire, create, collaborate and bring a unique and fresh aesthetic to the Australian fashion landscape.
Eli Valko Nigol
Eli (they/them) is a freelance photographer and artist who graduated from RMIT with a degree in Fine Art Photography in 2007. Eli works in photography and post-production, shooting and collaborating with bands, performers and fashion within the Melbourne creative community. Eli also worked in London for several years as a retoucher for labels such as Alexander McQueen, Matthew Williamson, French Connection and ASOS. Themes explored in their portraiture include alienation and vulnerability. Eli is currently exploring gender, marginalisation and queer identities.
Concept: Erica K Lewis
Suit Design: Erica K Lewis & Eugenie Meeker
Photography / Post-production: Eli Valko Nigol
Text / Voiceover: Erica K Lewis
MUAH / Production Assistant: Bec Hilton
Audio-Visual Editing: Tom Briglia
Demonstration Models: Eugenie Meeker & Erica K Lewis