Silk Worm
May 21 – August 20, 2022
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 21 | 4 to 7pm

An exhibition of video work by Silk Worm in /room/, juried by Magdalena Jadwiga Härtelova and Philisha Kay.

Don’t Ask Me features two videos, Lifetime Achievement and Humble Haughty Child, by Silk Worm and emerges from her ongoing research into passing: passing for a woman, passing for female, passing for cis. Campy and theatrical, the videos respond to works by Claude Cahun, Claire Denis, and Susan Stryker as well as the theoretical interventions of C. Riley Snorton and Julia Serano. The title Don’t Ask Me is inspired by a quote from Sandy Stone’s “The Empire Strikes Back: A Posttranssexual Manifesto”: “The essence of transsexualism is the act of passing. […] I could not ask a transsexual for anything more inconceivable than to forgo passing.” With this project, Silk Worm asks: Where is power located in the act of passing? What does it mean to be a trans woman in public? Who tells me what I am? And when oh when do I get to accept my Oscar?

Silk Worm’s research-based and interdisciplinary work commingles with the worlds of drag, theater, and dance. Silk has presented her work at Berkeley Art Museum, the Cantor Center for the Arts, 2727 California Street, Fierce! Festival, and the Pittsburgh Performance Art Festival. Before COVID-19, she performed regularly in drag at Bay Area queer bars like the Stud and Aunt Charlie’s Lounge. Silk is known as a very good sport.

Don’t Ask Me: A Screening and Conversation between Silk Worm and hannah baer Wednesday, June 22 | 7:30pm doors / 8pm event

Work Info
Lifetime Achievement, 2021, single-channel video, 14m41s
starring Silk Worm and Matia Emsellem, video shot by Chani Bockwinkel and Arlen Levy, audio by Wren Farrell, styling by Alfredo Romero, graphic design by Frank Leasing, “Pavane for a Dead Princess” recorded by Peekaboo, and produced with funding from Jess Curtis / Gravity and the San Francisco Arts Commission

Humble Haughty Child, 2022, single-channel video, 8 min
video shot by Chani Bockwinkel, music by Frida Ibarra, movement direction by Hiroko Tamano, and graphic design by Frank Leasing.