K8 Hardy, Sisters in the Struggle

by Art Fag City on November 18, 2009 · 21 comments Blurb

YouTube Preview Image

Music video by K8 Hardy for the Montreal-based band Lesbians on Ecstasy. Sisters in the Struggle is the anthem for their new album “We Know You Know”. Via: ArtForum video

  • silas

    Like the music, could care less about the video. Never really cared for Katie’s aesthetic. Can anyone explain her appeal?

  • silas

    Like the music, could care less about the video. Never really cared for Katie’s aesthetic. Can anyone explain her appeal?

  • Patty

    Its not Gaga.

  • Patty

    Its not Gaga.

  • Patty

    Its not Gaga.

  • m

    for me her appeal lies in the fact that she takes on serious issues like gender, sexuality, and identity with an insouciant sense of humor. I love her diy aesthetic down to its dirty drawers, so to speak.

  • m

    for me her appeal lies in the fact that she takes on serious issues like gender, sexuality, and identity with an insouciant sense of humor. I love her diy aesthetic down to its dirty drawers, so to speak.

  • http://www.isaacrichard.com isaac

    K8 has described her work as “messy gay art” and I think it’s tactically referencing very tried, amateurish DIY esthetics to push away from creating a more knowing, or didactic masterwork. It’s serious play as punk, I think, but she definitely has done very impressive things with photography and performance that move beyond that, also.

  • http://www.isaacrichard.com isaac

    K8 has described her work as “messy gay art” and I think it’s tactically referencing very tried, amateurish DIY esthetics to push away from creating a more knowing, or didactic masterwork. It’s serious play as punk, I think, but she definitely has done very impressive things with photography and performance that move beyond that, also.

  • http://www.isaacrichard.com isaac

    K8 has described her work as “messy gay art” and I think it’s tactically referencing very tried, amateurish DIY esthetics to push away from creating a more knowing, or didactic masterwork. It’s serious play as punk, I think, but she definitely has done very impressive things with photography and performance that move beyond that, also.

  • black

    why am i watching this again?

  • black

    why am i watching this again?

  • http://www.cnn.com silas

    I feel like Kate embodies–I hate to use this word because (like douchebag) it’s dropped indiscriminately but I will–the hipster aesthetic of doing shoddy work and faux-defiantly justifying it under the DIY banner. If you claim the work is going to be lo-fi/shoddy/ironic in advance, you’re protecting yourself. Any criticism deployed after that caveat is totally devalued, and any serious discussion of the work is dismissed because sincerity is absent. It’s like telling someone you love them but then saying “just kidding” immediately afterward to protect yourself from rejection.

    (I love how the DIY label seems to have gained a punk, rebellious definition as if artist’s haven’t been DIY-ing for thousands of years. (Yes, I know I’m opening myself up for a lecture about how her work is different in the context of the white male factory-production hegemony of Koons and Hirst, blah blah blah. I beg you to spare me.))

    Also, Kate’s work–in the interviews I’ve read–has that kind of thin skein of theoretical language that helps other people with the same critical training recognize it and feel good about themselves when they “get” it. She is a product of the art school system in the least flattering way. Postmodern grab bag of words and catch phrases propping up some proudly mediocre work. Yes, the work is cheeky and insouciant but it doesn’t cover the dullness that lies underneath. I think it’s entirely laudable that she’s tackling issues of gender, sexuality and identity but I just wish she’d do it without of of the puff and hokum of irony and uninteresting critical language.

  • http://www.cnn.com silas

    I feel like Kate embodies–I hate to use this word because (like douchebag) it’s dropped indiscriminately but I will–the hipster aesthetic of doing shoddy work and faux-defiantly justifying it under the DIY banner. If you claim the work is going to be lo-fi/shoddy/ironic in advance, you’re protecting yourself. Any criticism deployed after that caveat is totally devalued, and any serious discussion of the work is dismissed because sincerity is absent. It’s like telling someone you love them but then saying “just kidding” immediately afterward to protect yourself from rejection.

    (I love how the DIY label seems to have gained a punk, rebellious definition as if artist’s haven’t been DIY-ing for thousands of years. (Yes, I know I’m opening myself up for a lecture about how her work is different in the context of the white male factory-production hegemony of Koons and Hirst, blah blah blah. I beg you to spare me.))

    Also, Kate’s work–in the interviews I’ve read–has that kind of thin skein of theoretical language that helps other people with the same critical training recognize it and feel good about themselves when they “get” it. She is a product of the art school system in the least flattering way. Postmodern grab bag of words and catch phrases propping up some proudly mediocre work. Yes, the work is cheeky and insouciant but it doesn’t cover the dullness that lies underneath. I think it’s entirely laudable that she’s tackling issues of gender, sexuality and identity but I just wish she’d do it without of of the puff and hokum of irony and uninteresting critical language.

  • http://www.cnn.com silas

    I feel like Kate embodies–I hate to use this word because (like douchebag) it’s dropped indiscriminately but I will–the hipster aesthetic of doing shoddy work and faux-defiantly justifying it under the DIY banner. If you claim the work is going to be lo-fi/shoddy/ironic in advance, you’re protecting yourself. Any criticism deployed after that caveat is totally devalued, and any serious discussion of the work is dismissed because sincerity is absent. It’s like telling someone you love them but then saying “just kidding” immediately afterward to protect yourself from rejection.

    (I love how the DIY label seems to have gained a punk, rebellious definition as if artist’s haven’t been DIY-ing for thousands of years. (Yes, I know I’m opening myself up for a lecture about how her work is different in the context of the white male factory-production hegemony of Koons and Hirst, blah blah blah. I beg you to spare me.))

    Also, Kate’s work–in the interviews I’ve read–has that kind of thin skein of theoretical language that helps other people with the same critical training recognize it and feel good about themselves when they “get” it. She is a product of the art school system in the least flattering way. Postmodern grab bag of words and catch phrases propping up some proudly mediocre work. Yes, the work is cheeky and insouciant but it doesn’t cover the dullness that lies underneath. I think it’s entirely laudable that she’s tackling issues of gender, sexuality and identity but I just wish she’d do it without of of the puff and hokum of irony and uninteresting critical language.

  • http://www.cnn.com silas

    I feel like Kate embodies–I hate to use this word because (like douchebag) it’s dropped indiscriminately but I will–the hipster aesthetic of doing shoddy work and faux-defiantly justifying it under the DIY banner. If you claim the work is going to be lo-fi/shoddy/ironic in advance, you’re protecting yourself. Any criticism deployed after that caveat is totally devalued, and any serious discussion of the work is dismissed because sincerity is absent. It’s like telling someone you love them but then saying “just kidding” immediately afterward to protect yourself from rejection.

    (I love how the DIY label seems to have gained a punk, rebellious definition as if artist’s haven’t been DIY-ing for thousands of years. (Yes, I know I’m opening myself up for a lecture about how her work is different in the context of the white male factory-production hegemony of Koons and Hirst, blah blah blah. I beg you to spare me.))

    Also, Kate’s work–in the interviews I’ve read–has that kind of thin skein of theoretical language that helps other people with the same critical training recognize it and feel good about themselves when they “get” it. She is a product of the art school system in the least flattering way. Postmodern grab bag of words and catch phrases propping up some proudly mediocre work. Yes, the work is cheeky and insouciant but it doesn’t cover the dullness that lies underneath. I think it’s entirely laudable that she’s tackling issues of gender, sexuality and identity but I just wish she’d do it without of of the puff and hokum of irony and uninteresting critical language.

  • http://www.isaacrichard.com isaac

    I don’t understand why her work is interpreted as being ironic simply because it’s playful. This is something that a lot of queer artists face when they use elements of camp within their work and because it’s been appropriated so heavily it’s assumed to be this sort of guilty pleasure entertainment and it’s whole cultural history is ignored. I think that the critique of postmodern coldness is totally valid but I think that K8′s work is actually very sincere and penetratingly direct.

  • http://www.isaacrichard.com isaac

    I don’t understand why her work is interpreted as being ironic simply because it’s playful. This is something that a lot of queer artists face when they use elements of camp within their work and because it’s been appropriated so heavily it’s assumed to be this sort of guilty pleasure entertainment and it’s whole cultural history is ignored. I think that the critique of postmodern coldness is totally valid but I think that K8′s work is actually very sincere and penetratingly direct.

  • http://www.isaacrichard.com isaac

    I don’t understand why her work is interpreted as being ironic simply because it’s playful. This is something that a lot of queer artists face when they use elements of camp within their work and because it’s been appropriated so heavily it’s assumed to be this sort of guilty pleasure entertainment and it’s whole cultural history is ignored. I think that the critique of postmodern coldness is totally valid but I think that K8′s work is actually very sincere and penetratingly direct.

  • http://www.wikipedia.org/ silas

    Wait, Isaac, some clarification: who is appropriating camp/irony from whom? Are you saying that the use of camp/irony is being appropriated (grad school word, see previous comment) by society-at-large from queer artists? Or am I misunderstanding your statement? I’ll cede that camp has long been a specialized area of queer art/culture . . . but irony? Not as much, I’d say. And, while I’m not intimately familiar with all of Kate’s work (sorry, I can’t bring myself to spll hr nme lik a txt), it’s much more in the irony camp than the camp camp. Camp is generally over the top and undeniably, unambiguously a send up; irony is a little closer to the vest, a little more ambiguous. I’d say Kate’s irony is a form of safety for her, a way to disarm criticism, to “push away from creating a more knowing, or didactic masterwork,” as you said.

  • http://www.wikipedia.org/ silas

    Wait, Isaac, some clarification: who is appropriating camp/irony from whom? Are you saying that the use of camp/irony is being appropriated (grad school word, see previous comment) by society-at-large from queer artists? Or am I misunderstanding your statement? I’ll cede that camp has long been a specialized area of queer art/culture . . . but irony? Not as much, I’d say. And, while I’m not intimately familiar with all of Kate’s work (sorry, I can’t bring myself to spll hr nme lik a txt), it’s much more in the irony camp than the camp camp. Camp is generally over the top and undeniably, unambiguously a send up; irony is a little closer to the vest, a little more ambiguous. I’d say Kate’s irony is a form of safety for her, a way to disarm criticism, to “push away from creating a more knowing, or didactic masterwork,” as you said.

Previous post:

Next post: