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MSVU Collection


Artist
¤ C.Moyer/S.Schaffner Dyke Action Machine

Date of Work
¤ No Date

Accession Year
¤ 2001

Accession Number
¤ 2002.1.1-2002.1.5

Location
¤ In storage


Home » MSVU Collection » Dyke Action Machine! (Dam!)

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Dyke Action Machine! (Dam!)

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Dyke Action Machine! (DAM!)
(Live in New York)

When did you know? 2000
3-colour offset poster
61 x 46 cm
Purchased, 2001
Mount Saint Vincent University Collection
2002.1.3

Which oneís the man? 2000
3-colour offset poster
61 x46 cm
Purchased, 2001
Mount Saint Vincent University Collection
2002.1.5

Are you two sisters? 2000
3-colour offset poster
61 x 46 cm
Purchased, 2001
Mount Saint Vincent University Collection
2002.1.4

Lesbian Americans: Donít sell out! 1998
4-colour offset poster
91.5 x 61 cm
Purchased, 2001
Mount Saint Vincent University Collection
2002.1.1

Gay Marriage: You might as well be straight 1997
4-colour offset poster
61 x 46 cm
Purchased, 2001
Mount Saint Vincent University Collection
2002.1.2

Dyke Action Machine! was founded in New York City in 1991 by Sue Schaffner and Carrie Moyer. Moyer is a painter and graphic designer. She has created agitprop campaigns for the Lesbian Avengers, Queer Nation and the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization, among others. She is represented by Debs & Co. in New York City. Schaffner is a widely published commercial photographer working under the alias “Girl Ray”.

DAM! employs the aesthetics of camp by inserting lesbian imagery into recognizably pre-existing ad campaigns. “Camp is the queer form of self-parody that allows lesbians and gays to address queer issues with humor. The goal of camp is to preempt exploitation from an outside source by exposing oneself first, a strategy founded on the act of coming out.” (Spencer Ramsay, catalogue essay, Queer Commodity, 2002)

The posters When did you know?, Which oneís the man?, and Are you two sisters? are a response to frequently asked questions. The posters direct viewers to a website created by DAM! offering humorous answers. Lesbian Americans: Donít sell out! appropriates the style of a 1940 war poster or political campaign ad. The women show few, if any, conventional feminine qualities. This image along with its slogan proposes the “butch” lesbian as a mainstream American symbol. Gay Marriage: You might as well be straight responds to the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in the 1990s.

These posters reflect DAM!ís aim to add a sharp, sophisticated lesbian voice to the larger cultural critique. They were exhibited as part of MSVUís group show Queer Commodity in 2002.

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