You Are My Duchess is a provocative collection of handcrafted textiles in which catcalls have been transformed into a delicate art form. Created by Brooklyn-based Elana Adler, the project depicts certain phrases that were shouted out towards the artist in a fleeting moment along the streets, but which then took her hours upon hours of time to stitch into colorful needleworks. “The physically delicate, traditionally feminine, form of the piece engages the viewer and confronts him/her with a sweetness that may mask its crassness and vulgarity,” explains Adler.
She breaks down the disparaging remarks into tiny, colorful stitches that appear quite fragile. Viewers will naturally approach the works expecting to find decorative textiles. At first, one or two phrases may seem amusing, however, after moving from one offensive statement to the next, the words within the frames start to feel quite unsettling.
According to the artist, the works are “a contemporary and unexpected response to unsolicited and unwanted attention. They reduce the complex emotional experience of being heckled by catcalls to a simple piece of women's work.”