Patrick Staff: Weed Killer at MOCA | ITSLIQUID

Patrick Staff: Weed Killer at MOCA

Art | March 30, 2017 |

Patrick Staff: Weed Killer at MOCA_001Image courtesy of MOCA

Patrick Staff: Weed Killer at MOCA
MOCA Grand Avenue, Los Angeles
From 12 March to 03 July 2017


The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, presents Patrick Staff: Weed Killer, the premiere of a newly commissioned work by UK and Los Angeles–based artist Patrick Staff. Staff’s starting point is artist and writer Catherine Lord’s memoir, The Summer of Her Baldness, a moving and irreverent account of the author’s diagnosis, treatment, and transformation through her experience of cancer.


Patrick Staff: Weed Killer at MOCA_002Image courtesy of MOCA


At the heart of Staff’s installation is a video featuring a monologue, adapted from Lord’s book, in which an actress likens the devastating effects of chemotherapy drugs to mainlining weed killer. Presented as an immersive environment, Weed Killer draws into focus the fine line between poisonous and curative substances.


Patrick Staff: Weed Killer at MOCA_003Image courtesy of MOCA


All the performers in Weed Killer identify as transgender. By probing both trans experiences and a narrative about cancer, Staff points to conditions that are similarly marked by the treatment, regulation, and transformation of the body through pharmacological means, from chemotherapy and antidepressant drugs to hormone therapies. Weed Killer suggests a complex relationship to one’s own suffering and community, evoking the ways in which the impact and movement of illness extend beyond the visible.




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