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Healing Body

Jessica Burkle

Mixed Media, 2022


Healing Body pairs performance and installation to reflect and bring about conversations surrounding autonomy, viewership, and subsequent ownership, between the viewer and creator. Burkle works to reclaim her automony as a femme-presenting performer, recalling what is often the transactional relationship between the performer and viewer. Poly-fil and a nylon garment are used to obscure and protect the body from the viewer, while the Poly-fil simultaneously causes discomfort and suffocation. When the garment is finally destroyed from this repeated and tedious action of stuffing and unstuffing, the viewer is confronted with Burkle’s gaze, allowing her to create both a space of vulnerability and control for herself and the viewer. Healing Body uses the viewer as an active participant, pushing them to look at themselves in the reflection of the televisions while forcing the viewer to meet their own gaze and understand the part they play in this transactional relationship.

Jessica’s practice centers around endurance performance art, textile, and video. She often looks for ways to combine these practices to discuss and empower conversations around feminist topics such as identity, bodily autonomy, birth control, and menstruation.

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