Day 352 on a photoshoot with Pierre Dalpé, 95%

Day 352 on a photo shoot with Pierre Dalpé at the Botanical Gardens and the Musée Dufresne on Sherbrooke. The shoot was really fun- thanks Pierre!

After the photo shoot, I assured Pierre I would be fine getting a cab in spite of the rain.
I was wrong.
5 cabs passed me by, despite my waiting at a gas station where there was a drive-thru Tim Horton’s. A cab actually turned into the gas station and slowed down. As I ran to get in the car, he waved me off and sped away. I am assuming that my outfit discouraged these drivers to pick me up.

Finally, a taxi stopped for me. I got dropped off at the SAQ on St Denis on the Plateau to pick up some wine to take to a friend’s house for an inside bbq because of the rain. My arms were full with a box of 4 bottles, and I walked west on Duluth. A car full of women started talking to me, making kissing noises and saying, “Oh ma belle! Ma belle!” I smiled, winked, and made that clicking noise you make when you are being cheesy. I also kept walking. They started laughing louder and said a few more mean things in French, making fun of my ass.


Day 329 at the nameless bar on Parc, 100%

Day 329 at the nameless bar on Parc. After a lovely diner and a few bottles of wine at La Buvette chez Simone, a friend took me to this nameless bar on Parc where, after waiting in line for the bathroom, two girls emerged and one said, “Nice outfit,” in a hipster drawl and they both walked away laughing hysterically. However, I think I had it coming as I did say, “Oh two of you! I hope you left something for me,” when they had emerged from the same stall. Don’t blame the wine, blame the leopard print, 100%

Day 317 with Michele Clarke, 100%

The selfie
This is Michele Clarke and I in a selfie at the end of our day together. Michele is a photographer who is interested in vulnerability and the seams of emotional discomfort. I met her through 52 Pick Up, a video-a-week project that I created and manage where she is currently in week 34. I finally met Michele in person about a month ago at the Edgy Women Festival and later at a mutual friend’s super fun birthday party where the birthday celebrator got into an over-guests/furniture wrestling match with an MMA fighter with feet headlocks and everything as a kind of birthday present.

It was pretty awesome.

At the party, Michele and I got to talking about vulnerability in relationship to this project and my daily wearing of animal print. She had noticed that there was no documentation of people around me or me in public settings on this site representing the project aside from selfies, portraits, and performing proximity images. I talked about my definite interest in getting these types of images, but what I saw as difficulty in taking them as I did not want to draw more attention to myself with a visible photographer. I mentioned that I had considered a Sophie Calle approach of hiring a detective to follow me around, but with my penchant for paranoia, decided that this was not the best idea. Michele offered great insights into my relationship with performing in public spaces and vulnerability which I am grateful for, pointing me to Haley Morris Cafiero’s work, and offered to come back to Montreal and follow me around with a telephoto lens in the hopes of capturing public interactions.

Below is one of the images she took from a two-hour walk today around the Plateau which is fairly representative of the looks and stares I got during this time and through which, Michele was fairly invisible. She was usually across the street and people were not noticeably aware of her, but were of me. As you may or may not be aware, this outfit is pretty reflective of what I have been wearing daily since June 1st, 2012.

I encountered a family in which a girl who was about 7 wore a leopard print coat and stroked it as she stared at me when I passed. I said hello to the family and I think she wanted to say something, but she just kept rubbing her coat. Another girl with her mother exclaimed “C’est beau, c’est beau, c’est beau!” over and over again to me which frankly, was awesome. I said “bonjour.”

I was called “la Gazelle” as I passed a couple (not sure what that is about- this is just the wrong animal, but I’ll take it for my research), and there were a handful of snorts by passersby (usually women). One woman who was by herself said “Calis” under her breath as she passed. The rest of the commentators that I heard were in couples or groups. I got growled at by a middle-aged man in the park who was with his female friends- it was playful and not aggressive, and 2 separate women laughed with their group as I walked by on St. Laurent Blvd.

Obviously, I’m going to have to start wearing a wire.

The old man

Day 235 whistling Mrs. Robinson at McGill, 98%

Day 235 and it’s also Tuesday which means I am at McGill taking an Art History class with Amelia Jones. I’ve noticed, or more accurately, I’ve been noticed in the hallways and on the stairwells and I’m assuming that it’s because this sweater and jean combination is particularly eye-catching, so I’ve started whistling Mrs. Robinson while trying to navigate my way through the throngs of fresh-faced undergraduates on my way to and from class.

Later, while I was trying to flag a taxi on the corner of Mont Royal and St. Denis in -39, a man from Gaspésie said that he liked my outfit and that if his girlfriend was there, she would say I have the whole kit. Buddy, you have no idea.

Day 197 and this outfit has caused some reactions, 95%

Day 197

I took the metro to Vanier this morning and noticed that two women seemed not to like how I was dressed. One woman in her 20s stared at me and looked me up and down (I was sitting). I smiled at her. She looked away.
The woman next to me also stared at me with a bit of a scowl on her face. I smiled at her. She blinked, and looked away.
I was reading the Art History exam on the metro, so maybe they didn’t like that and it had nothing to do with my new shirt and jeans. Also, my knee touched the 2nd woman’s knee when the metro left the station (twice) and I moved my leg away.

After I gave the final exam in my Art History class a student said, “Can I ask you a question? You wear a lot of animal print.”
“Yes,” I said.
“So why?”
“What do you mean?”
“Do you really like it?”
“I’m doing a project in which I wear animal print every day for a year. This is day 197.”
“Oh wow! I thought it was just a Thursday thing.”

Because of the exam, I was 2 hours late to the department meeting. Once I sat down and settled, Thomas said, “Liberace called and he wants his clothes back.”
“Good one,” I said.
“You really look fantastic,” he whispered.
“What? You can’t lead with Liberace and then end with fantastic. It makes ‘fantastic’ meaningless.”
“Why not? Liberace was great.”
Thomas also told me that he has a stuffed python that he got as a young man in Zaire if I wanted to borrow it. “I know about your project and thought of you. But you can only use it if you have something specific in mind.”

After the meeting, some of us went to Justine and Terryll’s house for a few end of term drinks (Thomas did not come). I met Louise, who teaches painting, and she told me that when she saw me come into the meeting she thought to herself, “there’s someone who doesn’t care what anyone thinks- there’s someone living outside of the box.” She also wondered who I was and thought I was a friend of Cheryl’s. She did not know that I also taught in the department. She is going to Jamaica for a month to shoot a documentary.

Day 189 and snakeskin is back, 95%

Day 189 and snakeskin is back after a bit of a hiatus. I got this new cuff on Monday at a store in the Concordia metro, 95%

Today, just before Art History, Cheryl Donison, a colleague at Vanier told me that a student of hers asked her who she shared an office with. The student replied, “Dayna? Who is Dayna? Is she the woman who always wears animal print?” Cheryl told her that I am a performer and that this is a year-long project to which the student replied, “Aaaaahh,” as though now, it all made sense. According to Cheryl, the student was then “totally fascinated.”

Thanks for the report, Cheryl:)