Breast Cancer Project
Annie was diagnosed with breast cancer on April Fools Day, just three months into the Red Year. We decided to take on the breast cancer as a Love Art Lab project. What better way to explore the themes of security and survival than to try and stay alive. Beth asked our anesthesiologist to document the highlights of the surgery performance for us. Here are the results. Annie’s nipple and tumor turned blue from the dye the surgeon injected into her lymph nodes. The biopsy came back indicating the lymph nodes were clear, and the cancer was stage one. Our surgeon told us the following week that the guys in the operating room were fighting over the papers used to blot the iodine off of Annie’s breast. Annie was making tit prints even while under anesthesia. Then we made 13" x 17" prints of these photos which were exhibited in an art gallery with surgical tape covering the frames.
Chemo Fashion Show
We went to chemotherapy infusions together every two weeks for four months. Beth brought her camera and the nurse assistant took a few snapshots. Everyone became part of the art making process. This delighted and entertained the other ladies getting chemo, as well as the medical staff. Later we organized the photos into a slide show performance which present like we are emceeing a fashion show.
When Annie began to lose her long Leo mane and pubes after nineteen days of chemotherapy, we decided to make the best of it. Photographer David Steinberg photographed us making scissorly love while cutting off Annie's hair and shaving her head bald. Then Beth had Annie shave her head in solidarity. The resulting photographs were published in On Our Backs magazine, and we coined a new genre of photography, "cancer erotica." Our motto is to 'eroticise everything!'
The thought of Annie losing her hair in the bath or on a pillow was more than what we wanted to experience. So we decided to finish the job that we had started in Hairotica at home. One beautiful day we shaved each other’s heads. Love is being bald together.
Love Infusion Center
The Love Art Lab always likes to raise money for a good cause. So when the Bernal Heights Community Center asked its neighbors to hold garage sales to raise money as a benefit, we rolled up our sleeves.
Inspired by the chemotherapy infusion room at our doctor's office, we created the Love Infusion Center in our garage. For a donation, garage sale shoppers/neighbors could sit on a red couch and get a "love infusion." Artist Tina Takemoto assisted as "Nurse Ana Phylaxis."
Patients were handed a clipboard with a questionnaire. "Describe your last love infusion. List your love allergies. What part of your body needs love the most?" The Infusion team then lovingly taped a clear plastic tube attached to red liquid in a bag to the part of their body they said needed love. "Patients" could relax on the couch for as long as desired. We infused over 50 people and several pets. We raised over one hundred dollars and the "patients" appeared noticeably refreshed and well loved after their treatment.