Video and dance event by Catherine Forster, performed by MaZi Dance, and featured by Chicago Artists Month.
The work explores female identity under a tide of confusing norms and expectations. A key component of “cactus, flowers, fuck-off, love, roses” resides with the symbolic connection between flowers and women. The work is composed from multiple videos of women who respond to the symbolic meaning of a flower of their choosing. In the live performance the videos become backdrop and dance partner, as MaZi performers create improv movements, wrestling and communing with their flower-selves.
The project was activated by a convergence of multiple events: Forster's daughter turned 13th beginning her transition from childhood to womanhood, while a close relative came-out as transfemale beginning her own journey to womanhood; the participation of women in the Arab Spring, and their likely diminished role under rising conservative movements; the right wing “war on women” movement in the US; and the National Institute of Mental Health’s new findings on “Nature vs. Nurture”.