In the archetypal Amazon Warrior woman, New York artist Coco Dolle found her alter-ego and the reference point from which to build her own iconography for her performance art collective, Legacy Fatale, re-contextualizing the historical Amazon as the champion of her vision of an egalitarian and feminist future. “Legacy Fatale” refers to Western society’s longstanding practice of objectifying and vilifying women—making them tragic heroines, villains, or domesticating them in some way—‘killing them into art’ as the second-wave feminist critics Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar put it in their groundbreaking second-wave work, The Madwoman in the Attic. In the figure of the Amazon, however, Ms. Dolle found a still-surviving image of fierce, sexual and unbridled women that has endured through the ages, in relation to the 1860′ radical thesis studies by Swiss scholar Sir Bachofen stating that these Greek Amazon Warriors were not a myth but a fact and to recent scientific research by archeologist Jeanine Davis-Kimball. In Bachofen’s view, humanity started out under the rule of woman-kind and only switched to patriarchy at the dawn of civilization. Legacy Fatale draws on this mixture of historic and popular mythology to create its visual vocabulary for modern day feminism; this informs everything from the group’s costumes to their choreography and content. Each project the collective undertakes is geared towards raising community awareness and embraces a multi-cultural and an inter-generational approach.
Since 2008, Coco Dolle’s determination has grown into various performance projects, empowering female awareness through her community-building initiatives and enabling artists, dancers, colleagues, healers and her community to connect through a choreographed concept that seeks to evoke the spirit of a forbidden truth. She has become an advocate and excavator for the spirit of these female warriors, creating works that address issues of identity, gender roles, leadership, worship, history, transcending time and geography. Legacy Fatale pays homage to a global buried matriarchal lineage, to the strength of women, and the role of the feminine in today’s society.
In Legacy Fatale’s upcoming performance at the Queens Museum “Unbound Feminism & Territorialities,” the collective will create a space for a cathartic demonstration of strength and unification in the wake of the election. As Coco Dolle asserts, the group “aims to transform the fear, grief, and anger that many have been feeling into an affirmation of agency, mobilizing the audience and manifesting new, inclusive visions for the future. We recognize our strength in numbers and understand that now, more than ever, it is essential to understand how women are linked around the world—that our connection knows no walls, no borders, no bounds.”
“Unbound Feminism & Territorialities” happens at the Queens Museum this Saturday, November 19 at 1:30 p.m. The program is curated and organized by Hector Canonge, LiVEART.US, and hosted by the Queens Museum. For more information about the event, visit: queensmuseum.org
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