petra collins and madelyne beckles curate a ‘fuck boi funeral’
The two friends are reclaiming art from “cis white dudes” in Miami.
Petra Collins and Madelyne Beckles are holding a funeral in a Miami hotel room tonight, during Art Basel. Over the course of a three-hour happening, they will lay to rest the "fuck boi" with a show of images and artworks by Petra (feat. Barbie Ferreira, Mayan Toledano and Julia Baylis) and an online-and-IRL performance by Madelyne and Alexandra Marzella.
Titled "Fuck Boi Funeral," the exhibition "is a celebration of the end of minimalist, objective forms of art production," according to its curators' fiercely worded statement. Over email, Petra tells us it's about reclaiming personal spaces and crafts that are often dismissed as "women's work" by entitled art world dudes. The overall effect, she says, will be the creation of an intimate space where all women will feel comfortable. "It will feel like the moment after a selfie," she says, "When you pull away from your phone or computer and examine yourself."
Co-curator Madelyne will be home in Toronto tonight, where she's finishing up her degree, but she'll online and onscreen for a mystery collaboration with Alexandra. She promises "trolling and frilling ;)" What's "frilling"? Stop by Room 40 at The Standard to find out.
I love that the exhibition statement reads like a manifesto. How did the conversation that led to "Fuck Boi Funeral" begin?
Petra: The title comes from years of art practice and constantly experiencing and seeing my peers being sexualized and belittled for their gender.
Madelyne: Manifestos have been crucial to art history and underground subcultures, and we felt it was fitting to employ this kind of writing since the show is conceptualized around a ceremony: the end of the fuck boi, and the beginning of a female revolution.
Urban Dictionary has a lot of great definitions for "fuck boi" (wears nike tube socks with sandals; sexist oppressor; reads all Jaden Smith's tweets). What's your own personal definition?
M & P: A fuck boi is a cis white dude who has the intention of silencing the "subordinate" and can't recognize his own privilege, both IRL and in the art world.
You talk about this show as a reclamation of intimacy and subjectivity. What's the environment you're fighting against?
Madelyne: We are essentially fighting against the white-wall box institutional space, which has a history of excluding some groups of people and benefiting others.
How do the works you chose explore the idea of craft?
M & P: It's the way a lot of us approach art. A lot of us don't have access to big studios, large production houses, expensive materials, etc., so we've found a way to weave these art works into everyday materials. Craft has become an activist tool in feminist art production. The reclamation of "women's work" legitimizes works from generations pasts, is accessible, and holds family history and tradition for many women.
Are there any artists you're working with for the first time? If so, who?
M & P: We always just like to work with our friends and like-minded people. We really want the room to feel comfortable and personal for girls, a space where you would feel comfortable being vulnerable and safe enough to take a selfie.
Text Alice Newell-Hanson
Images courtesy Petra Collins and Madelyne Beckles