Pay Purview references video on demand, pay-per-view, and the performance of booty from Venus Hottentots to hip hop video vixens. The audience must pay cash for each peepshow-style vignette to begin. In the live performance, the artist wears a golden leotard and “bootyballs”—a bouncy, bountiful strap-on derrière that serves as visual allusion to both Sarah Baartman and contemporary hip hop video vixens. Pay Purview begins with a carnival barker (often the gallerist or an assistant) who goads the audience into depositing dollars into a golden hat in order to view “the spectacle behind the curtain.” Once a few dollars are collected, a theatrical curtain opens and the artist dances to music ranging from Rodgers & Hart’s “Ten Cents a Dance” to Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back”—highlighting the intersection of commerce and female sexuality across multiple eras. The playlist also includes Beyonce, Rihanna and Chris Brown, Malcolm X, booty bass tracks, and Tina Turner. Snippets of an audio documentary on Saartjie Baartman aka the Hottentot Venus disturb the spectacle of this progressive peep show, creating space for an empathetic re-envisioning of hip hop’s video vixens. The direct exchange of money challenges the audience to examine their own complicity in the consumption of these displays, but also addresses issues of supporting women artists and recognizing the labor behind the presentation of glamour and availability.

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