The Rape Contract
The Rape Contract, 2016
Black and UV ink on paper, UV flashlights, wooden box frames and vinyl wall text. 14 frames, 10.6 x 14 inches.
The Rape Contract is a literal manifestation of a part of my social contract. It formalizes the agreement struck by persons (particularly cisgender women) with the state for their membership to society and reparation for rape. Created in response to the disempowering experience of assisting a friend negotiate the Australian legal system as a survivor of rape, the document is presented as a commercial services contract for ‘Victim Services’. It provides capped ‘Social Payments’ in the form of legal redress, compensation and acknowledgement in exchange for achievement of community and legal expectations of victimhood. Informed by Carine M. Mardorossian’s groundbreaking 2014 book ‘Framing the Rape Victim: Gender and Agency Reconsidered,’ it articulates ‘Key Performance Indicators’, indemnities, limitations of liability, behavioral specifications and dispute mechanisms enforced against victims. Overlaid upon the formal legal document are excerpts from notes, personal writings, psychiatric reports and a police report taken from a survivor. They have been transcribed by me in invisible UV ink and can be seen with the use of a small UV flashlight offered to the side of the work.