In this interview from September 21, Artblog's Sarah Kim talks to Leeway grantee Katie Rauth (ACG '18) on her project centering radical fat politics, along with queer femme identity, visibility, ableism, and more. Check out this excerpt below:
SK: Why did you choose video as the primary medium for your project?
KR: I originally came to this project because Legally Blonde is one of my favorite movies in the entire world. There’s that one scene of Elle Woods’s Harvard video essay, and it kind of stuck with me that I wanted to recreate, redefine and rework that (in my mind) iconic piece of cinema (laugh). With this project I’m using influences both from that movie and from But I’m a Cheerleader — another late 90s/early 2000s, femme-centric, camp classic.
I’m not necessarily recreating scenes from these films, which are really nostalgic for me; I’m mostly taking aesthetic influences and noticing the way they frame and set up jokes. There are some cinematic tropes that I’m really interested in, like the “getting-ready” montage. These women hit their alarm clock in the morning, and then you see them wake up and go to the bathroom and brush their teeth, then put on their make-up and pick out their outfit. This is something that you see in so many movies and it’s actually called “lipstick and load,” which comes from “lock and load” — a trope in action movies when people are strapping their guns into their holsters and pulling their boots on. It’s this femme version of it, which I think is really incredible—like gearing up for the day, putting on your warpaint, finding the way you want to present yourself to the world. I definitely want my own version of a “lipstick and load.”