Kim Thornton

At first glance Kim Thornton’s Domestic Heptathlon shows a series of incredible athletic achievements. However on closer inspection the viewer notices that the high jump bar is a broom and the hurdle is a washing line. Even the athlete is dressed in a bizarre costume fashioned from dishcloths. Inspired by the history of women being barred from the stadium, Kim Thornton’s work looks at some of the restrictions women encounter in their quest to participate and humorously suggests ways in which they can overcome some of the barriers they face. Her competitor number 11 was chosen because of an article by John Tunis in the New York Evening Times in 1928 with the headline ‘Eleven Wretched Women’ in which he fictitiously reported that of eleven women who ran their first Olympic 800 metres only one finished intact, resulting in women being barred from the race for the next 32 years!


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