With a professional mascot costume of herself, Baker travels across North America making public appearances as Cindy Baker. The cuddly and approachable mascot costume both amplifies and disguises the characteristics of the person inside and encourages a new kind of mediated interaction between artist and audience. In this project, Baker investigates the way we present public versions of ourselves and the feelings of being sheltered yet vulnerable, plain yet larger-than-life, on display and yet invisible. Watch for Baker’s appearances at events throughout the M:ST 4 Festival.
Cindy Baker’s interdisciplinary and performance work is informed by a fierce commitment to ethical community engagement and critical social inquiry. Drawing from queer theory, gender culture, fat activism and art theory, Baker’s research-based practice moves fluently between the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Baker considers context her primary medium, and works with diverse materials and techniques from the low-craft (such as latch-hooking) to digital fabrication and performance, emphasizing the theoretical, conceptual and ephemeral aspects of her work.
Baker has exhibited and performed across Canada from Open Space in Victoria, BC to Eastern Edge in St. John’s, NF, and internationally in cities including Los Angeles, CA, the Soap Factory in Minneapolis, MN and ANTIFest in Kuopio, Finland. Her recent performative installation Mighty Men and Mistress Maker recently showed at DC3 Projects in Edmonton.
Baker’s practice draws from two decades of experience in artist-run centres, as well as extensive volunteer work in art and queer communities; she has worked in non-profits throughout Western Canada, including AKA Gallery (Saskatoon). Currently based in Lethbridge, Alberta, Baker has recently completed an MFA at the University of Lethbridge where she held a SSHRC grant for her research in performance in the absence of the artist’s body.