Wordmills and Baboons is a series of exhibitions, workshops and podcasts that invert the gender of the stories we are told.
Gender inversion means that every ‘he’ becomes a ‘she’, every ‘Mary’ becomes a ‘Mike’. This is not a new game, it has been employed by many people over many years. But it has not lost its potency or relevance… or capacity for hilarity.
It is only when you actually do it that you truly see all of the ways gender is ascribed. Sometimes is it is obvious – men are ‘strong’ women are ‘beautiful’. But sometimes it is subtle and you wouldn’t see it until you get that little shock as you listen to it in reverse gender.
The greatest benefit of playing this game is how refreshing it is and how funny.
If we ever find ourselves in a culture where this game is boring, where it reveals nothing to us, then we might just have found ourselves in a culture where gender has not been ascribed to genitalia, but to personal inclination.
There have been various manifestations, including workshops and instillation at Lot 19 as part of the 2015 State Festival , a show at the Phee Broadway Theatre in 2015 and a solo exhibition at Lot 19 in 2016.
Below is an interview conducted by Mark Naulton in preparation for the 2015 Castlemaine Fringe Festival. We discuss the history of the project and its aims. (Apologies for the poor sound quality)