Jess Dobkin’s Social Mirror Ball – Dykes on Mykes

Mirror Ball

The Lactation Station


Everything I’ve Got


First half: Jess Dobkin artist talk, La Centrale, Montreal


Second half: Interview with Jess, Dykes on Mykes, CKUT, 90.3fm | Montréal


Jess Dobkin is one of Canada’s best performance artists. She uses her body as a vehicle for her work to confront audiences with a raw, frank vulnerability and sincerity that will take your breath away and have you holding your heart. Jess playfully constructs performative environments and situations that challenge her audience to question social and cultural mores underscored with risk and taboo. She creates an intimate relationship with her audience to guide us through a shared experience that takes us through the looking glass of the social mirror.

Jess presented two pieces at this year’s Edgy Women Festival in Montreal that were absolutely brilliant. She also gave an insightful talk about her work and creative process at La Centrale which is featured here as an edited audio file.

In her talk, Jess takes us through her artistic process and practice and presents examples of her work which include, The Lactation Station, a piece where audiences are invited to taste samples of pasteurized human breast milk donated by six lactating new mothers, Fee for Service, a piece where audiences of one are invited to have a pencil sharpened by the artist’s vagina dentata for a nominal fee, Attending, a piece in which the artist is stationed as a full-service washroom attendant in women’s public washrooms, on duty to attend to the needs of women using the facilities, Everything I’ve Got, a performance that offers the collection of the artist’s creative ideas in an intimate examination of artistic process and how work gets made that reflects on the question of what happens to work that doesn’t get produced due to lacking time, support, or resources, and the urgency to get ideas out into the world.

The second half of this audio file also includes an interview with Jess that aired on Dykes on Mykes where she describes the work she performed at the Festival including Mirror Ball, a stunning piece where Jess performs as a functional human mirror ball, exploring physical and psychological vulnerabilities, limitations and boundaries.

Jess Dobkin’s performances, artist’s talks and workshops are presented at museums, galleries, theatres and universities internationally. She creates innovative live and video solo performances, as well as multiple artist productions.