Woman Throws Herself At Men, Makes Project and Statement
I heard about this woman and her project, and I sit on the fence for art. Is some of it trash…..most of it, does it make a statement….every time! Should we give money and grants to someone who uses it for nonsense…but what is nonsense.
I laughed when I heard this was art, but the more I looked into this artist, the more I thought it was art. It made me think, made me talk about it. MMMMM….so that’s what art is. Would I give a government grant for this, no way! Does it deserve attention, I think so. Read on:
The 32-year-old Angeleno has crossed the country photographing herself doing just that, for a photo series aptly titled “I Throw Myself at Men.” The Huffington Post traded emails with the artist, and she revealed why she started it, her Craigslist encounters and much more.
HuffPost Arts: What prompted the project? You mention posting an ad on Craigslist, which is often seen by those who haven’t done so as something extremely risky or bold. Do you have any interesting stories from those encounters?
Lilly McElroy: I make work about the desire to form connections with others and how difficult it can sometimes be to actually do that. For the “I Throw Myself at Men” series I was thinking about romantic connections and how awkward, painful, and wonderful it can be to try and form an attachment to another person.
Also, like most of my work, this project was prompted by my curiosity to see what would happen if I performed a surprising act in public. I spent a lot of my youth watching “JackAss”.
I only used Criagslist for a few weeks. I quickly learned that it was more effective and fun to approach directly men in bars. I didn’t have any real problems with anyone that I met on Craigslist, though. The men were nice and interested in what I was doing. For a while after my first Craigslist meeting, I was getting late night phone calls from a guy claiming to be Christopher Walken, but I’m not 100% sure those things were connected.
HuffPost Arts: What do you hope people take away from the images?
Lilly McElroy: That is a good question. There is obviously a strong feminist component to this project and that read is very important to me. Mostly though, I’m interested in talking about how human that desire for connection is. I hope people think about that for a little bit.
HuffPost Arts: Have you given any thought to what an inverse of your project would be like, and how it would be perceived? What would an “I Throw Myself at Women” series done by a man be like?
Lilly McElroy: Yes, I’ve thought about it, but I can’t pin down what it would mean. It would be a different project, but it would also be a different project if it were a much larger or smaller woman. Those things would change the meaning significantly. When I think about the inverse of my project I think about Martin Kersels’ “Tossing a Friend (Melinda 1, 2, 3)”. I love those images.