Last month, I posted about artist Annamarie Ho's art installation/performance piece, "Binlang Shi Shr," about Betel nut girls, the scantily-clad young girls who sell the stimulant from streetside booths in some Asian cities. (Background here.) The closing performance takes place this Saturday, October 21, from 2-5pm at the Amelie A. Wallace Gallery at SUNY College of Old Westbury in New York.
From the show program:
Ho simulates a vending stand of the sort that becomes, in effect, a free-standing display case, where the "betelnut beauties" function as commodified mannequins. She includes an example of the accompanying neon business signs often phrased to sound like the names of love hotels in East Asia. In Binlang Shi Shr (Betelnut Girls), Ho not only expresses a concern over the "entrapment" of women in sexual-economic exploitation, but also exoticizes this selling process, as an actor hired for the performance interacts with viewers like a betelnut girl. Ho assumes her role as a stand owner who monitors the girl's behavior. Bringing this simulating experience of betelnut girls to the space of the art gallery, Ho also raises a larger issue of what's being sold in contemporary commercial galleries, as she uses the actor and the performance piece as a means to sell her installation.
Link to Ho's "Binlang Shi Shr" site with images and video from the installation
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