The multi-channel video installation “That’s Why I Like It” is a culmination of my work as an artist, filmmaker, professional pole dancer and stripper. Using my own experience with strip club labour conditions as inspiration for my line of questioning, I began interviewing and filming professional exotic dancers from varying backgrounds in their homes, asking them questions around feminism, objectification, power, and love. The edited interviews are paired with a multi-channel video depicting the women’s bodies from behind, swaying and twerking in hypnotic slow motion. The resulting work seeks to understand what is means to be consensually objectified for a living, and is a critical and empathetic look into the lives of a group of women who are simultaneously exalted and demeaned for their chosen profession.
Excerpt from an essay about the work by Artist and editor of Decoy Magazine, Lauren Marsden:
“Using a deeply empathetic gaze, Southam also limits our access to the full picture, leaving us with the fragments of a conversation, punctuated by persistent fades that frustrate any desire to hold the image completely. Yet, here we find that a community is forming on the filmic surface, where independent voices overlap and complicate each other, where individual domestic sets become the stage for a collective story of the value of labour and self-discovery.
Southam provides us with a respectful and vocal alternative to the well-worn new media tactics of detached appropriation and celebrating the selfie gaze, by allowing her participants to look outward and in fact directly away from all of us, while the director herself focuses in on her own quest for meaning in a world of professionalized sensuality.”
Screenings and Exhibitions:
"The Channelers" , Emmedia Gallery. 2018
Nuit Rose Festival of Queer Art and Performance, Featured Artist, 2018
Los Angeles International Underground Film Festival, 2018 WINNER BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM
Colorado International Activism Film Festival WINNER MOST SHOCKINGLY ARTISTIC DOCUMENTARY
Seattle Transmedia and Independent Film Festival 2018
Revelation Perth International Film festival, 2018
SECS Festival Seattle 2018
Local Sightings Festival, Seattle, 2018
Other Venice Film Festival, Venice Beach CA, 2018