artist statement:

"We're taught to be disgusted by our fluids. Maybe it's related to a fear of death. Body fluids are base material. Disneyland is so clean; hygiene is the religion of fascism. The body sack, the sack you don't enter, it's taboo to enter the sack. Fear of sex and the loss of control; visceral goo, waddle, waddle." [Paul McCarthy, 2003]

"She had a wet mistake buried in her chest. It should have never have been put there. Someone had concealed a weapon, which helped her manifest a wound. She tried to sweat it free by performing a function called crying." [Ben Marcus in 'First Love', Solution 247-261 Love (Ingo Niermann)]

My work is a reclamation of sensual identity. Naomi Wolf writes in The Beauty Myth, “so rare is it to see sexual explicitness in the context of love and intimacy on screen that it seems our culture treats tender sexuality as if it were deviant or depraved.” Human beings emit bodily fluids during moments of vulnerability and connection. Whether it is through breastfeeding, ejaculation, crying, sweating, etc. - fluids are a natural release during any sensory emotional experience. Pleasure can be a healer, a painful drug, a masochistic addiction, a bonding agent... desire drives us and molds our behavior, publicly and privately. Intimacy and pleasure as a unit aren't often - if ever- represented to us in popular media. People have forgotten how to be vulnerable with one another, and as a result they dehumanize each other. This dehumanization is only furthered by Capitalism's grasp on sexuality as a means to sell: humans have become products. I address this plastic reality by pairing fluids with various inorganic materials. This pairing can speak to censorship (a plexi barrier between honey-coated artist and viewer, as performed in Honeybox, 2016) as well as repression and fetish (the intimate transfer of honey via spitting, as performed in Sweet Spit, 2017).  Fetish seeks to create a barrier between sexuality and intimacy. My work reintroduces this dilemma to the viewer in a vulnerable and potent confrontation, pulling the sweaty, weeping, dripping body back into installations of cold plasticity.


Madeline Rae is a digital hypermedia performance artist based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her work explores a reclamation and investigation of sensuality, through the pairing of organic and inorganic materials, with a focus on fluids. She is a 2015-2016 alumna of ace art inc.’s Cartae Open School and will complete her BFA Honours at the University of Manitoba in Spring of 2018, having been funded for research for 2 consecutive years during her degree. Rae was shortlisted for Yale Norfolk Summer School of Art and Music in 2016 and was an official RBC On the Rise nominee for the 2017 WAC awards. Rae recently finished a WAC funded project through Nuit Blanche Winnipeg’s 2017 Illuminate The Night series and has performed and shown work throughout Winnipeg & in Ontario. Rae sits as an Executive member on the Board of Directors at aceartinc. and is currently finishing her thesis work. 

madeline rae © 2017