The Key of F

KEY OF F, 2018

The Key of F is a short (3:33 min) video of the artist performing sexual and violent messages that were sent directly to her from random men on the dating app Tinder.

Andrea Cooper’s artistic practice explores themes around sex, female subjugation, and despair. The trajectory of her performance-based work (whether for the camera or stage) sets out to plumb the depths of the sexualized female body, to unpack and disentangle the charged boundaries between what women want and the ways they are wanted.

Writer and filmmaker Chris Kraus has questioned the way that women are judged who write about filth in this world, about bodies, depravation and desire: “Why does everybody think that women are debasing themselves when we expose the conditions of our own debasement? Why do women always have to come clean?” The implicit question in a lot of the research on sexting seems to be: What kind of person sexts and what’s wrong with them?

In this society, women, and especially girls, are not perceived as agents of their own sexuality – rather, they are often viewed as passive recipients of male desire. Expression of female desire is seen as deviant, especially within the realm of sexting. However, the issue with sexting in society is not sexual agency or desire, but the persistence of sexual violence related problems like rape culture, misogyny and consent. Key of F explores these internal and societal conflicts.