2013, Neon, 150 x 100cm
Spit/Swallow (2013) is an iconic work from Goodman’s oeuvre that exemplifies her areas of interest. The neon light work, which has recently been acquired by the PAMM collection in Miami, depicts a self-portrait of the artist with a fluid-like shape that flashes alternatively inside her mouth and being ejected from it. For an uncomplicated and aesthetically candid work, Spit/Swallow is capable of addressing a multitude of themes present in Goodman’s practice, including self-portraiture, seduction, subversion, humour, violence, and the thin line that exists between desire and disgust.
Spit/Swallow is envisioned as a metaphoric play on female stereotypes: women who swallow their words, accepting what is given to them and expected of them, or women who spit out their thoughts and feelings, who reject societal expectations and norms. The interplay between this and the obvious sexual innuendo – referring to whether or not a woman swallows semen upon performing fellatio – results in a work that seeks to address contemporary feminine identity. Spit/Swallow represents a power-play between embracing and rejecting morality, societal norms, and desire as they are presented in the media and popular and mainstream culture.
The artist's use of the tongue-in-cheek title acts as a reinforcing component that drives home her feminist principles; the double entendre illustrating how women waver between submission and rebellion, reception and effusion.
Photographs by Anthea Pokroy