Race to Innocence

Installation view at Buoyancy: Poolside Performances as part of Idea Exhange’s Common Waters Project. Documentation by Lauren Prousky and Jordyn Stewart.

Race to Innocence is an interpretive representation based on a critical reflection of the piece, “The Race to Innocence: Confronting Hierarchical Relations Among Women” (1998) by Mary Louise Fellows and Sherene Razack.

The hoops symbolize identity boxes. The pink and white bunting reads the title of the project using the futile language of indoor swimming pool flags to echo the futility of the Race to Innocence*. The interactive installation was introduced with a brief lecture-performance where implications of the Race to Innocence were written in the form of sarcastic rules and read aloud to participants before engaging with the work:

  1. To qualify, you must be one who is subject to multiple labels

  2. You must come to know yourself through identifying the ‘other’

  3. You must remain unnamed by focusing only on what affects you, and lower the others to raise yourself

  4. You must believe that your own claim of subordination is the most urgent and that you are unimplicated in the subordination of others.

  5. You can check off identity boxes by swimming through them. The more you check off, the closer you are to winning the race.

* “The process through which a woman comes to believe her own claim of subordination is the most urgent, and that she is unimplicated in the subordination of other women (Fellows & Razack, p 335).”