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2005 08 20
The Drake - Insecurity Shirt - Reprised
imageimage “can you still tell im a lesbian now that my hair is long?”
-ingrid gerberick, insecurity Shirt

9am: wake up and go to the Beaver for a breakfast goodbye party.
Ingrid Gerberick aka Drake Artist in Residence for the month of March is leaving us for New York this morning. Eight of us mange to arrive on time, despite the fact that we were all at the Drake celebrating the culmination of her A.I.R project the night before at ‘Notes From the Underground’.

For her residency, Ingrid Gerberick fabricated a series of Insecurity Shirts on which she projected either her insecurity (“can you still tell im a lesbian now that my hair is long?”) or embroidered your personal insecurity onto your favourite shirt. The performative result: an installation in the Underground consisting of bodies wearing their no longer closeted insecurities quite literally on their sleeves.

Exposing oneself is not new to the Drake. (Maybe this is why many, many people
were drawn to the shirt that read: “do you think I drink too much?”). From the scarified pillows dangling thread et al. in the Lounge to the overt voyeurism of the hotel’s glass washrooms, the Drake was designed to make visible what we normally keep hidden below the surface.

Playfully scratching, rather sewing the surface, Ingrid’s Insecurity Shirts made visible the process of coming out. Creating a spectacle out of speaking the unspeakable unleashed the tension that builds up within community. The dividing lines of our social identities and positioning within its fabric - whether it be sexuality or gender or job description - were disarmed by insecurities sewn in pink thread such as ”Love Me?” or “Is it okay?”. Caught in the act we were all out-ed as completely ourselves, and we were out-ed and completely ourselves together.

So completely ourselves that the Wet Spots, a singing and stripping sing along sex-ed. act all about baring all that is repressed aka sexuality, out-ed the “difference” of the female orgasm to an over exposed audience by out-ing a certain audience member: “how long does it take you to come? 10 minutes…20 minutes…25 minutes…I bet it takes you 35 minutes….45 minutes…25 seconds!!!” Surrounded by everyone’s secret insecurity summed up in a short question written on their clothing, admittedly I felt a little bit better about mine (aka is it okay that I just got out-ed in public how long it takes me to have an orgasm?).

Ingrid’s long hair cuts through the centre of the text of her insecurity which she embroidered around the collar of her suit jacket. While wearing her insecurity shirt, her declaration actually reads:

“can you tell that …………………….... my hair is long?”
The process of coming out is neither as clear cut as an announcement on a shirt nor as eruptive as being exposed and named by someone else. If our insecurities
(or…err…our…differences) are at the core of our social fabric, then Ingrid’s project successfully wove us together – scars, dangling thread, glass walls et al. Whether it be claiming territory by naming our identity, or having our social vulnerabilities named for us, the process of coming out is all about allowing ourselves to be open while occupying and creating the ambiguous spaces in between.

For ingrid
9:45am: in the beaver gulping down my coffee and saying goodbye.
If I was wearing an Ingrid Gerberick shirt it might read:
“Is it okay that im not so good at endings?”

Wednesday march 30th 2005
12.01am - 9am at the Drake Hotel
jessica rose - art director/curator
[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 08/20 at 04:41 PM

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