Join us for a performance presented in cooperation with Building Bridges Art Exchange and with support from the Getting to Know Europe program, awarded by the Delegation of the European Union to the United States.
"The Life & Death of Elle Peril" presents a five-year experiment on persona. In the wake of revenge porn and cyber harassment, Lena Chen suffered from post-traumatic stress symptoms (depression, anxiety, paranoia, and hypervigilance) which impaired her ability to function socially and professionally. In 2013, she moved to Berlin and invented an alternate identity as nude model Elle Peril. Through ritualized acts of undressing and posing for (mostly male) strangers, Elle Peril functioned as a coping mechanism, survival tactic, and ad hoc therapy that allowed the artist to reclaim agency over her body and personal narrative. In this interactive performance, she will present documentation of the experiment while reading from Elle Peril's diaries.
Please note: the performance will include nudity.
Lena Chen explores gender, identity, and trauma through text and performance. As an activist for reproductive freedom and women's rights, she has spoken at Oxford, Yale, Stanford, and SXSW and has been featured in international media outlets. Since 2008, an anonymous Internet stalker has harassed Chen, her family, friends, and associates using tactics such as "Google-bombing" and doxxing. As one of the earliest documented cases of revenge porn and cyberstalking, her experience has been studied by academic researchers and covered in the press.
Based in Berlin, Chen organizes events on participatory art and creative activism. She is the founder of The Athena Initiative, a creative support network for women. Chen received a degree in sociology from Harvard University, where she wrote the controversial sex blog Sex And The Ivy.