NOBODY CAN EAT 50 EGGS... live.

            With the help of a very enthusiastic and supportive audience, I reenacted an iconic scene from 1967 film Cool Hand Luke at the Fuller Projects, Bloomington, IN. I provided 50 hardboiled eggs. These eggs sat in a pile on a table. I sat at the table with a towel on my neck (as in the original scene). I allowed the audience to take the initiative to feed me 50 hardboiled eggs. 

            In the aforementioned scene, Luke (played by Paul Newman) boasts to fellow prison inmates that he can eat 50 hardboiled eggs. New to the prison, Luke accepts this challenge in order to prove himself to the other inmates. The film features an egg-eating montage, and as Luke struggles to perform -- his masculinity, that is -- men actually begin to force feed him eggs.

            I’m interested in exploring iconic Hollywood portrayals of masculinity, the construction of these portrayals, and the role they play in constructing masculinity. Luke attempts to prove his masculinity to his fellow inmates by consuming 50 eggs. Through my own attempt of the feat, I question rituals of gendered performance and arbitrary definitions of gender norms. While completing a task to more or less prove my masculinity, I also will allow others to force feed me, giving up consent or rights to my own body. This penetration -- participants putting eggs into my mouth -- is also the ultimate signifier of feminization -- or in terms of the patriarchy, the worst thing you can allow to happen to yourself. The lines are blurry, flawed, and absurd -- as is eating 50 eggs.