February 26, 2012


A few slightly blurred images from the opening of Kah Bee's masters show, Effeminacy. I was wandering through the show when a friend of mine came up to me, and as a way of saying hello queried "where's the cat?". Thinking she meant the video of internet sensation Maru, I told her about it. Only to be corrected "No, Kah Bee said there was going to be a real, live cat wandering through the show". I said I had seen no evidence of such an event, but considering Kah Bee, I wouldn't put it past her. When I found the artist, wearing a friend's baseball cap at a jaunty angle and with a long stemmed red rose between her teeth, I asked her to set the record straight on these cat rumours. KBC admitted at some point during the installation's run, a cat would feature. I really hope this was not just the opening night enthusiasm and alcohol intake talking.
With various cylindrical forms and structures covered in carpet it really is a cat-scratching haven. Or a Grecian-meets-Babylonian themed cat café, at the very least.

I noticed your walk changed as you went through the show. The layout, the scattering of objects across floors, strategically placed to dictate movement, forced the viewer to alter their gait to a delicate prowl. Almost like dance steps. One, step, two steps, pivot, crouch down to examine a video or an ikebana oasis, and up again. Repeat. You could almost feel rather cat-like yourself.

In her own words:

"When I was four years old, I came across a pack of crayons on the new lounge suite in the living room. I started testing out what the crayons could do and I learned I could leave markings on the textured upholstery of the sofa; a revelatory assignment. So I got to work that afternoon, I worked hard, attacking the surface with manic and more manic scribblings. I worked to colonize this expansive territory, smearing waxy residue over the entire set of furniture. I would use up one crayon, move onto another and another. It was exhilarating work. I had found my calling.

When my father returned home from work, I don’t recall what happened immediately after – but suffice to say, I didn’t anticipate the response that would come. At some point, I was placed outside the House. I clutched onto the grill of the gate outside our home, wailing like the banished offspring of an all-powerful God.
When I was finally allowed back into our house, I remember my father’s back turned towards me. He didn’t have a shirt on, he was on his knees, sweating profusely, scrubbing the sofa with his life."


"I channel the savages when I eat watermelons. Oranges also. They taste better when your teeth tear the flesh off the rind; puncturing the sacs so the juices run and collect into a pool inside your mouth. It doesn’t work with a mediocre orange. I once read: “We love beauty within the limits of political judgment, and we philosophize without the barbarian vice of effeminacy."

Barbarian vice of effeminacy: imagine this paradoxical compatibility.

Effeminacy pours from an excess of refinement not reined in by a soundness of thinking; it rings of aristocratic overkill, a persistent, eternal infantilism afforded by privilege. How does the barbarian; the cannibal fall for the effeminate? Where do they even meet? I could not draw a line around a territory, not because one belongs on the outside and the other within, but because they operate as a kind of corrupting impulse; their shared lack of restraint comes to surface but eludes arrest. They don’t meet up for coffee and they don’t scope out each other’s Facebook profiles; they are criminals on the run, they go chasing waterfalls."

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