“My goal is to use my art to transform social consciousness and promote empathy and activism for gender justice. With my androgynous forms I invite the viewer to seek out diversity in unpredictable ways, to ‘try on’ new personal avatars and self definitions, knowing that every new experience changes the brain’s structure and inspires each of us toward a more authentic self.” –Linda Stein
TOUCH AND BE TOUCHED WITH ART
Body-swapping with Linda Stein’s sculptures is a chance to be brave, an opportunity to dare. The experience of not only touching, but wearing her sculptures, allows the mind to take on another persona, to switch genders, to dance or move in a way unlikely with the overlay of Stein’s body armor.
Participants of HAWT Gender Improvisational Gathering (HAWT-GIG) don the gender-bending wearable sculpture of Linda Stein, and move about or speak in such a way that transcends traditional definitions of masculinity and femininity and addresses the fluidity of gender. The goal is to explore sex-role stereotypes through dance or voice (skit, poem, song), to create new identities and story lines using gender-swapping verbal and body language.
An extension of meaningful conversation, the collaborative HAWT-GIG provides an opportunity for improvisers to learn about one another as they gather together to create their performance; relationships can be explored in intimate ways, and identities may be exchanged.
HAWT-GIG has the potential to be socially transformative, offering a model for behaving that is egalitarian, non-discriminatory, democratic, non-elitist, and compassionate.