Jeanne Donegan


Milk, video, 48:29, NFS

My work is concerned with envisaging the autonomy of female pleasure. Through self-portraiture and performance based video, I use the camera as a means of reflection. When one pictures herself, the camera becomes less of an invasive gaze and more that of a mirror—as she becomes both the maker and the subject. My work in particular focuses on issues of sexuality, intimacy, and power—always placing the woman in control of her own desires. It is important to see ourselves, to delight in ourselves as sexual beings, to care for ourselves as we would a lover, and to satiate our own needs as we would our lover’s needs.

In the video performance Milk, I mimic a sexual act while attempting to melt a frozen ball of milk with my mouth. The commitment to the duration of this long action points to the insatiability of a woman’s desire to reach her climax, while also playing with milk as a substance that can appear both masculine and feminine. As the milk melts and drips down the face, we are reminded of seminal fluid, yet we know milk as substance inherently female. The performance oscillates between the ideas of a woman performing oral sex and of the woman sucking at her own breast.