Djuna Barnes, known for her feminist writing in the ’20s and ’30s, was also a pioneering stunt journalist
In “My Adventures Being Rescued,” Barnes attended a fireman’s training, where she put herself in peril three times and was saved. A photograph in the exhibit shows her several stories up in a long black dress, dangling from the waist of a solemn young firemen, pump-clad feet neatly crossed at the ankle midair. Famously, she also subjected herself to artificial feeding for the New York World Magazine in “How It Feels to Be Forcibly Fed,” undergoing the procedure performed, often fatally, on hunger-striking suffragettes. In the photos, Barnes lies mummified in a white sheet, held down by three identically clad men in ties and shirtsleeves, while the doctor snakes a tube up her nose.