project image
Lindsey Whittle

first performed on April 21, 2021
The Pearlman Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
performed three times in 2021


Champaign, IL


Women’s role in society is strictly based on the needs and desires of men. In this performance, I attempt to demonstrate how few tools women are given to succeed, regardless of expectations. We are given less and expected to succeed at the same level.

Two boxes are taped to the floor, one box has an opening with a full bowl of water, an unopened bag of flour, two baking pans, and three packets of yeast. The other box has no openings and contains no tools to bake bread. Scattered around the closed box is a half-opened bag of flour with most of its contents scattered on the floor. A cloudy bowl of water is just out of reach, and packets of opened yeast have been tossed nearby. There are no baking sheets.

I occupy the closed box with no resources. I reach just beyond the box to scoop and collect the leftover material, trying to accumulate enough resources to start producing bread.

I shape the flour I have collected into a pile then place my clenched hands in the center to create a moat where I pour the mixture of dirty water and yeast collected from the floor. Hair, dirt, dust, and debris are visible in the mixture as it’s poured into the moat. I start to knead the mass into a ball. My hands are covered in a thick, sticky dough that restricts every movement. I keep adding liquid, and a dough starts to form, I angrily slam the soft mass onto the floor repeatedly.

I scan the room and find two, unused baking pans within the box that holds a complete arsenal of supplies. Slowly I leave my box without passing over the marks on the floor. My fingers barely touch the cold metal of the stacked baking pans, they move away quickly. Lurching forward with force, I connect with the pans. I have one pan firmly within my grasp but I recoil into my own box, slamming the pan on the ground with a loud clang. I gently shape the dough and place it in the pan, wipe my hands once again on my skirt and then cradle the pan of dough in my arms.