The most famous feminist slogans are, for good reason, incredibly simple: “My body, my choice.” “This is what a feminist looks like.” But it’s easy to get so wrapped up in activism that we forget to let ourselves be, you know, people — which is what makes the project Ambivalently Yours so refreshing.
Frustrated by the contradictions between the feminist art she was studying and her work in the fashion industry, the anonymous artist behind Ambivalently Yours embarked on the project — which entails leaving inspirational, illustrated notes about embracing one’s own contradictions in public — in 2012. Among the slogans that accompany her artwork are “unapologetically unresolved,” “less catcalling, more cats,” and simply, “a little bit of both.”
In a recent interview with Dazed, the artist explains, “I hoped that others would find [the notes], empathise with how I was feeling and perhaps find comfort or questions in that process.” The project’s “Ambivalence Statement” elaborates:
Ambivalence means simultaneously loving and hating. While these feelings can often lead to passive behaviour, they don’t necessarily have to… This refusal to choose between traditional femininity and radical feminism allowed for another space to exist: not a space of indecision but rather a space of undeciding. My choice is not to choose, but to remain in-between, creating a space where conflicting feelings are confronted and reevaluated…
Though it began with a series of works left in public, Ambivalently Yours (which we discovered via Beautiful/Decay) also includes online components on Tumblr and Instagram. The artist is currently finishing up a 91-day residency at Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts, which she tracked via a separate Tumblr.
Click through to see some highlights from Ambivalently Yours.