Artist’s Notebook:
Genevieve Belleveau

11.04.13 Marina Galperina

ANIMAL’s feature Artist’s Notebook asks artists to show us their original “idea sketch” next to a finished piece. This week, New York artist Genevieve Belleveau talks about The Business of Pleasure: Disney Edition, a ritualistic performance exploring polyamory and limitless love through the metaphor of a limited children’s toy, from inside a giant Polly Pocket in Malmo, Sweden at the Lilith Performance Studio.

 The Business of Pleasure: Disney Edition was a further investigation of the complex machinery of desire and intimate relationships. In this performance, I was using the metaphor of Polly Pocket and the compulsive desire of a child to attain a desirable object.

While I was developing this project (commissioned by Lilith), I used Tumblr as a scrolling sketchbook.

Polly Pocket had always been a terrible disappointment to me as a child. Her TV commercials promised so much, excitement! Flying hearts! Exclamations of Delight!

But when I finally received her, I found her movement limited. Her tiny body immobile but for a hinge at the hips, legs melded together like a sexless mermaid.

Place her in her bed and she would topple to the ground like a tiny split pill. This idea of a desire fulfilled amounting the pleasure that could only fit into three little pegholes became the crux of the service I created.

Direct video inspo:

Exploring polyamory and limitless love through the metaphor of a children’s toy that was so limited, so unbearably compact.

Sitting on Santa’s lap, asking for the toy, sitting on Ariel’s at Disney World, her airbrushed animation now pocked with pores and odorous breath; can no fantasy remain untainted?!?!?!?!?!


I was accompanied by a choir of 7 men and one woman representing 7 consecutive one night stands I completed as a endurance exercise and “mortification of the flesh” in my journey to be transfigured from slut to saint.


Previous Artist’s Notebook selects:

Artist’s Notebook: Georges Jacotey
Artist’s Notebook: Andrew Ohanesian
Artist’s Notebook: Saoirse Wall
Artist’s Notebook: Jesse Darling
Artist’s Notebook: Addie Wagenknecht
Artist’s Notebook: Anthony Antonellis
Artist’s Notebook: Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw

(Lead photo: Emma Kathan)