Performance Artist Monika Rostvold
To raise parallels between the ramifications of hook-up culture and fast food, Rostvold recently covered her nearly nude body in Chick-fil-A.
By Grace Nicholas, Austin Community College
In April 2015, Monika Rostvold, 23, sat on the steps of Texas State’s Alkek library wearing nothing but pasties, a nude thong, a blindfold and headphones.
Her piece, highlighting the topic of sexual assault, gained international recognition and over 130,000 views on YouTube.
In February of this year, the senior took the campus stage again with her performance piece, “All You Can Eat.” Rostvold stripped to her underwear on a TSU lunch table and covered herself with Chick-Fil-A, drawing comparisons between the unhealthy side effects of fast food and hook-up culture.
Rostvold graduated in May with Fine Arts concentration in painting, and will be going to SVA in New York City for graduate school.
“I don’t think of it as my ‘fifteen minutes of fame,’ because I have to treat [exposure] as a business aspect of my job. I want to be successful as an artist, and part of that means people knowing your name.”
“I didn’t tell my dad because I knew he’d try to talk me out of it, so I told my mom, ‘Look I’m going to do this and I might get in trouble with the cops, so just keep your phone on you.’”
“A guy I wanted to be friends with invited me to a party, but when I got there he introduced me by saying, ‘Look I brought the naked girl to the party. This is the naked girl.’ I never thought that would happen, so I was shocked and confused.”
“I don’t know the answers to these questions. I’m just asking people their opinions.”
“I went on the Howard Stern radio show mostly because I thought the people listening were an audience that should hear my interview, and I had to defend and defend and defend myself.”
“I was sweating really badly—the first performance I did—really, really badly. The second performance I had the shakes, not just because [the physical strain] of lying uncomfortably, but because I was really nervous.”
“I don’t think I’m braver than anyone else. There are things that other people would do that I’d be scared of doing. There’s just different kinds of bravery.”
“I had crate-ass because I had been sitting on a table with crates for so long, and on the web there’s a picture of a close-up of my ass that says, ‘This girl needs help. Look at that cellulite.’ So even then I was getting judged. I’m going to get judged no matter what I look like.”
“When I did the first performance I didn’t think of the Internet or social media. I thought I’d be there fifteen minutes before the police told me they’d arrest me if I didn’t leave. When I was done, I went back to my studio and everyone kept telling me, ‘You’re all over Twitter and stuff.’ I was like, ‘Wait what?’”
“My roommate’s boyfriend’s friend was in my house and I was hanging out with him. I said I was going to let my dog out, so I do that and come back and I’m like, ‘Where the fuck is he?’ I open up my bedroom door and he’s laying butt-ass naked on my bed. His one-liner was ‘Can I be in you journal?’ ‘I’m going to go smoke a cigarette,’ I told him. ‘You should probably put your clothes back on.’”