Mont Royal

Performing proximity on the 51 bus

This morning, I took the 51 bus and noticed a woman in great leopard pants. This is my attempt to perform proximity by sticking out my foot towards her.

Also, I don’t know if it’s the balmy +9C weather we are having or what, but people are (once again?) commenting out loud to me or near me. I got a, “Oh, Madame Leopard” on the way home on Mont Royal from a guy with friends, a “Did you see that?” as I left the bus, and a woman on the bus waved her leopard print gloves at me in solidarity, which I gave a thumbs-up to.

47 days to go.

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 156 giving it all I got, 95%

Day 156 giving it all I got in leopard on leopard on tiger. Hipsters love this jacket, regular people, not so much. 2 people said, “Caliss” on Mont Royal today as I walked by. The coat check girl at the Royal Phoenix said it was the best jacket she saw all night last night and the person working the door said I looked great which makes that a tie, 95%

Day 148 and this must be the outfit, 98%

Day 148 and this must be the outfit because a man rode past me on his bicycle saying, “Oh la la” about 5 times and gave me the thumbs up. Later on Mont Royal, I walked by the record shop, and a guy said to another, “check it” and pointed at me as I walked by, although they could have been pointing to the younger blonde woman who was walking in front of me wearing blue leopard jeans. Or the both of us wearing leopard jeans. 98%

Day 75 at the Radical Dyke March, 95%

Day 75 at the Radical Dyke March in a brand new dress that my Mom sent me. Here we are at Mont Royal and St. Denis after starting at Berri and St. Catherine and passing through the Village. I’m a but haggard here because a few of us stopped at The Drugstore for a quick drink because even though this was an anti-capitalist march (what dyke march in Montreal would be complete without a bevvie at The Drugstore), we managed to loose 600 or so dykes in 10 minutes! Anyway, we had to hoof it and caught up with them at Deluth and St. Denis, ending up at the after party at the Cabaret du Mile End which featured a fabulous show hosted by Guizo Lanuit. Miss Sugarpuss, BENNI E., and MEN were awesome. 95%