“Hitting women, then, becomes the physical expression of men’s re-worked gender habitus, forged through the shared histories of men and women learning how to fight together, and therein learning to engage with one another outside of the bounds of typical, patriarchal gender norms.” - Alex Channon, Do You Hit Girls? Some Striking Moments in the Career of a Male Martial Artist
In Do You Hit Girls? Penelope Koliopoulou will invite a male opponent to a long Thai-Boxing fighting performance. An aggressive fight, between two people of similar weight and similar training experience. She will take the fight out of its normal space -the gym- and into an art event.
With this durational performance she wishes to raise questions relating to consent, boundaries and sex segregation in sports. She wants to challenge the social taboo of violence against women, by adding the factors of consent, sport’s rules, and a predetermined time and space for it to happen.
This is a real fight that engages real issues.
About Penelope Koliopoulou
Penelope Koliopoulou makes work that draws upon her everyday life. For example, her identity as a queer, white, young woman, practising Mixed Martial Arts daily in a very heteronormative, male environment, and engaging in various forms of sex work, such as domination, fetish wrestling and webcam, are currently the starting points of her art making.
She is interested, among other things, in sexuality, relationships, gender issues, power dynamics. Her work has expanded to include a variety of mediums. So far her practice comprises of, but is not limited to, installation, performance, text, moving image.
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