The silence around menopause is deafening.
“It is easier to get people to talk about death and cancer than Menopause,” says Nancy Nowacek, artist, organizer and collaborator on Menopause: An Imperfect Guide. “Because it’s an incontrovertible milestone of age — [the secrecy] perpetuates and amplifies negative feelings women have about their age, their bodies, their very selves.”
To that end, she’s created M_________, The Menopause Project, a pilot pop-up shop in Brooklyn, August 17-19, featuring experts in psychology, health, nutrition, pilates and powerlifting. The goal is to bring publicity, education and community to an experience common to, ahem, half the world’s population.
“If we start joining together, in public, and learn about how our bodies are actually running incredible defensive plays, we can dedicate our hard-won experience, love and care to the rest of the world and start to lift the curtain on the mystery, shame, and confusion of what it means to enter the middle of our lives.”
An artist by trade, Nancy has been working in design, play and the built environment for the past several years. “I’ve been trying to build a temporary walkway to Governors Island from Brooklyn because there was once a walkable sandbar at low tide. I guess you could call my interest in menopause as an intersection of my longstanding interest in the body as a site of imagination and action — and the body as our own built environment.”
1. On the nightstand: What nightstand? My Brooklyn bedroom barely fits a bed.
2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: Expanding my jumpsuit collection, talking to strangers, laughing loudly.
3. Jam of the minute: Anything by Chance the Rapper, every Tune Yards playlist/station
4. Thing I miss: Florent, the original bar at The Four Seasons, a time without Starbucks, banks and CVS/Walgreens/Rite Aids on every block. I know. Who doesn’t?
5. 80s crush: Sting—that eyebrow. Those moody high-brow lyrics. Don’t hold it against me.
6. Current crush: Miranda July. I just re-read The First Bad Man for the third time, and her Interfaith Charity thrift shop makes my heart sing. Also, Yvonne Rainer. Perpetual crush for shattering dance and film conventions. Her seminal piece, “Trio A,” total badassery and one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to learn.
7. Will whine about: How all my best friends have left NYC for CA.
8. Will wine about: All the too much Netflix that helps me wind down after long days in the studio: Queer Eye (esp JVN, girl!) and Great British Baking Show. In these Days of Trump, it’s vital to see people being WITH and FOR each other.
9. Best thing that happened yesterday: dinner at ABCV with my partner to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary. I really outsmarted myself in waiting so long to meet him.
10. Looking forward to:Yvonne Rainer’s residency at MoMA in September, the day I start singing regularly again, a new president that isn’t a disgrace, an embarrassment, and a ***********.