FKA Twigs, the UK performance artist who is famously engaged to actor Robert Pattinson offered a shocking take on domestic abuse, calling it “addictive” and even “tender” at times, a view that would surly rile feminists although domestic abuse victims might understand.
Twigs, 28, real name Tahliah Barnett, explained that she was drawing from her own abuse experience, which she called “totally messed up.”
Her comments came in a new interview with the British magazine ES. a supplement to the London Evening Standard newspaper.
The subject was her upcoming stint as curator of the Veuve Clicquot Widow Series. The British production is designed to create the “ultimate Halloween experience,” according to its Web site.
If so, Twigs definitely went off on a scary tangent when she started talking about her experience with domestic abuse.
“In the relationship I couldn’t communicate,” she tells the magazine. “The person I was with was stopping me from explaining how I felt. So the physical manifestation is someone putting their hand in your mouth.”
She elaborated with comments that veered into her own psychological reaction.
“There’s an element, too, of liking that as well. It’s messed up. It’s addictive. Violent, or beautiful? It’s kind of sexy, like emotional abuse can be tender. That’s why it’s messed up.
Twigs used her experience three years ago to create the video for her song “Papi Pacify.” It opens with a scene showing a man with his hand over her mouth as if to silence her. She said at the time she drew from a past abuse partner to created the scene.
Many victims of domestic violence say psychological abuse by batterers is more devastating than the physical violence, according to JaneDoe, a web site devoted to the subject.
The problem with Twigs’ comments is that they perpetuated the myth that women stay in abusive relationships because they are somehow to blame for their abuse or in some way like it, according to mental health professionals. Neither is true.
At the same time, Twigs expressed the roller coaster women sometimes find themselves on in abusive relationships. Violent episodes may be followed by an abuser’s passionate apologies and promises not to do it again, only for the cycle to repeat itself again later.
The singer says she is still conflicted over the doomed romance.
“If you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, it can be tender, that’s why you stay. And you stay because there’s a poorly (sick) part of your mind that likes it,” she explains.
Her relationship with Pattinson is solid, despite Internet trolls and low-flying tabloids that constantly link him with ex-girlfriend Kristen Stewart to exploit the former couple for pageviews.
“I can’t begin to explain how awful it is. I didn’t see my life going this way at all. But it’s worth it. I’m so happy,” she told The New York Times last year.
Her new Veuve Clicquot Widow Series project, titled “Rooms,” will combines theater, costume and dance. It’s told through the character, Diamas, who is “in search of her spiritual and zodiac home,” according to a promo for the show.
“Rooms” will open with a private viewing as well as a VIP party today (Oct. 26) It will open its doors to the public Oct. 27.
“There aren’t always opportunities to make your wildest creative ideas a reality. ‘Rooms’ is one of my most ambitious projects to date so I’m very excited to be bringing it to life for the Veuve Clicquot Widow Series,” she said in a statement.
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