Diviana Ingravallo may consider her "Naked Women" a form of art, but the gallery of strippers, prostitutes, goddesses and plain lowlifes this Italian performer is presenting at Highways is more history lesson than show--a lecture with X-rated slides, nailed to a virulently anti-Catholic point of view.
This is not art less , but it is rarely art ful . Ingravallo is uttering a rallying cry for women (the emotionally, psychologically and physically battered) that fundamentally revolves around a key statement: Every day I am reminded of the consequences of patriarchy.
This performer's crusade is not only against the damage done by patriarchal religions (that she claims see women and carnal pleasure at the root of all satanism and witchcraft), but against all forms of masculine control. Let's hear it for the only true liberator: economic empowerment.
This is pretty much what Viginia Woolf also advocated. But the thrill of dollar bills in Ingravallo's world comes at a tough rate of exchange. Her uncompromising portrait of women (created with Tracy Mostovoy) who sell themselves because they have few other options--or because they choose to--is one of vengeful, ultimately ravaging, defiance.