The Enduring Kinship Between The Feline and The Feminine

Elizabeth Dearnley at the TLS:

Lamenting Derrida’s failure of imagination, Sollée turns to work that has embraced a cat’s-eye view of the world, from the late Carolee Schneemann’s provocative video art featuring “muse cats” to Kathy Acker’s assertion that “I have about a hundred cats living in me and all of them are curious”. She celebrates the reclaiming by queer communities of the “cat lady” stereotype, noting Audre Lorde’s fondness for and identification with felines, as well as a survey in 2018 by the website Autostraddle that found the rate of cat ownership among lesbians in the US to be almost 10 per cent higher than the national average. Elsewhere, she visits the pastel-blue headquarters, “in a rustic suburb of Colorado Springs”, of the Kittenplay fetish scene, which provides a space for human “kittens” to role-play as Domesticated Kittens, Feral Kittens, or Vampurrs. By reclaiming feline archetypes, Kristen Sollée suggests, her varied subjects seek to claw back control of their own bodies and identities, to “steal the show while remaining a whisker away from authority’s full control”.

more here.