Sugar & Spice…Naughty & Nice:
Burlesque-Inspired D.I.Y with Clarissa Cupcake
WHEN: March 21st, 7:30-9:30pm.
WHERE: Artisans Asylum (map) Multipurpose room. Suggested donation $3-5.
Although rarely considered valid forms of technology – women’s contributions to fashion, jewelry, cosmetics, textiles, and the decorative arts serve as remarkable instances of innovation, technical prowess and skill – revealing the forgotten power of all seemingly trivial “decorative” techniques and practices.
Clarissa Cupcake will demonstrate the erotic potential of several surprising, unexpected genres – including scrapbooking, embroidery, beading and collage – and discuss the value of using feminine kitsche as a tool for psychological domination, power play, and humiliation. Fashion, jewelry, and cosmetics are explored as nuanced elements of erotic encounters, while themes of display, beauty and objectification are addressed. Emphasizing the role of gender as a powerful mental construct in erotic play, Clarissa will discuss how juxtaposing materials considered too cute, innocent and feminine for sex toys (e.g., lace, crystal, embroidery, ribbon, etc.) with more edgy, intimidating materials associated with masculine gender stereotypes (leather, metal, chain, etc.) can be used to elevate the experience of both dominance and submission. This effect is pronounced especially when stereotyped expectations do not match how an object or material is used – that is, when innocent materials inflict pain, and intimidating materials produce pleasure.
Examples from her burlesque costumes and props are used to visualize this tension between seemingly contradictory materials. She will show examples of her work as a visual artist and designer – along with her favorite tools and materials – finishing her talk with a short description of how color, texture and form can influence the power dynamic of any social interaction, concluding that erotic practices can enhance interactions in everyday social encounters, playing a key role in mental health and personal well being.
Clarissa Cupcake is a cultural psychoanalyst, fashion/jewelry designer, inventor, and burlesque performance artist. She is the owner and founder of Lace Exoskeleton (lace-exoskeleton.com), and was recently awarded a provisional patent for her “Chain Reactions” modular jewelry and fashion design concept.
Lace Exoskeleton represents an artistic collective with the shared vision of empowering individuals to construct, enhance and assume artistic authorship over their identity and aesthetic persona. Specifically, Lace Exoskeleton encourages consumers to utilize sustainable, eco-friendly, and modular concepts to create their very own, personalized “exoskeleton” of collaged, appropriated, and collaborative fashion pieces that form a continuous artistic gesture we refer to as “identity”. By encouraging customers to think about body decoration as an art form, Clarissa hopes to empower people to see fashion as a deeply personal, meaningful collection of symbols, colors, textures and design details that capture the essence of deeply personal content – from actual memories and recollections to inner visions, fantasies, desires, and unrealized dreams. Through transforming everyday consumer choices into spiritually meaningful, artistic, and emotionally engaging collective experiences, she hopes to refocus consumer desire to favor sustainable, ethical, and artisan-made products and services. You can visit Clarissa Cupcake and her partner in crime, Pinkbeetle, in the following places:
Lace Exoskeleton Studios: The Artisans Asylum, Somerville, MA – Studio #69 (no need for a
pneumonic device to remember this address!)
Website: Blog, D.I.Y. resource, upcoming events resource, & collective art
Facebook: Lace Exoskeleton, Clarissa Cupcake
Clarissa Cupcake’s recent performance @ Jaded evokes the ecstatic transcendence of “head space”, erotic climax, and out of body experience – perhaps the frantic movement and elated glow of burlesque evoke sacred sexuality?