Monthly Archives: November 2009

Talking PAN ASIA 2009 wtih Amelia Winger-Bearskin

Question: Tell me about “PAN ASIA 2009”
ASIA Performance Art in Seoul 2009 is organized by SORO Performance Unit and the Pan Asia performance Art Net Work, as a platform and an archive for performance art in Asia, supported by the Seoul Art Foundation. The festival consists of sections for “live performance art”, “performance art archive for the expansion of a shared Knowledge base”, and “Video performance art / documentation of performance art,” as well as interactive video and a performance art workshop.  17 artists will perform live as well as give lectures and workshops about performance art. The festival takes place in Seoul, South Korea from December 7th -12th at the Zeroone Design Center and Deehaklo Gallery

Live Performance by Amelia Winger-Bearskin

Friday 12/11 at 7pm


Talking to Alex Prager

Question: Tell me about “Eve”

Eve: To me, the birds in this picture represent her nightmares coming back in daylight to haunt her. She is a woman in the middle of going completely mad.

Eve, 2008


Talking to Amber Hawk Swanson

Question: Tell me about “The Amber Doll
In 2007, I commissioned the production of a life-like sex doll, a RealDoll, made of a possible PVC skeleton and silicone flesh, in my exact likeness. My doll, Amber Doll, began as a Styrofoam print-out of a digital scan of my head. Her face was then custom-sculpted and later combined with the doll manufacturer’s existing, “Body #8” female doll mold. After completing, “The Making-Of Amber Doll” and “Las Vegas Wedding Ceremony” (both 2007), Amber Doll and I went on to disrupt wedding receptions, roller-skating rinks, football tailgating parties, theme parks, and adult industry conventions. In the resulting series, “To Have, To Hold, and To Violate: Amber and Doll,” ideas surrounding agency and objectification are questioned, as are ideas about the success or failure of negotiating power through one’s own participation in a cultural narrative that declares women as objects. My work with Amber Doll, herself a literal object, deals with such themes through an oftentimes-complicated feminist lens. Similar concerns emerge in my series, “The Feminism? Project” (2006). The script for each video in the series was generated from interviews with women across the state of Iowa on the subject of feminism.
To Have, Roller rink, 2007

Talking to Meryl Donoghue

Question: Tell me about “One For Sorrow”

The idea for One For Sorrow, came from an old English folklore song that people recite when they see a magpie. Magpies are thought to be omens and the rhyme is said to predict your fate if you see a particular number of magpies in one sighting.

One for sorrow, two for mirth,
Three for a wedding, four for a birth,
Five for silver, six for gold,
Seven for a secret not to be told.
Eight for heaven, nine for hell,
And ten for the devil’s own sel’.

One For Sorrow, 2007


Talking to ABOVE

Question: Tell me about your work?

My work, ummm my work. You would be better off if you were to stop reading this and went on a walk outside. There you will find more answers and inspirations behind my works.

The Naked Truth, 2009

Click to Watch  the Video


Talking to Alison Brady

Question: Tell me about your work?

My work is an exploration of the realm between the familiar and the unknown. The unnerved feeling one gets when the familiar turns alien and frightening. This is often created in very simple ways, on closer inspection of the mattress image, the viewer notices the second pair of legs are actually arms.

Alison Brady


Talking to Amelia Winger-Bearskin

Question: Tell me about “Crying on cue”

This piece is trying to be funny.  Anytime you try to be funny you run the risk of coming off as desperate or boring. I performed this piece at Women and Their Work in Austin in 2007 and the DC performance art week in 2008 as well as at University of Texas in Austin, for my 2008 MFA oral defense; the first two went really well, people laughed, people got it; but the latter fell flat because the audience was not an audience and the committee of professors wasn’t there to laugh, well at least not at the work.

I am using the methods of stage and film acting to make myself cry on cue, the live Amelia is dependent on the pre-recorded Amelia in order to perform for the live audience.  The live Amelia will emote or be slapped or will have camphor rubbed in her eyes, the recorded Amelia will encourage the audience to laugh or to hit or to judge the success of the instructions.  As we construct our virtual identities in the age of the Internet, the recorded self interacts with as much authority with our ‘audience’ as the present self does.

I was a teenaged club kid at the time of the real beginnings of the internet, and it fascinated me that someone was their online persona at the club as well as in the chatroom (or message board), but there was that time from 9-5pm when they were just Kathy or Rob, but after 5pm on livejournal or the weekly club night they participated in, they were Evangeline, darktor, G33k or missdeadly.  I think that now with facebook there is more transparency in web presence, it has dragged some out of the anonymous web presences but pushed others further into an internet subculture.  So maybe there was initially this idea that the internet would be this huge dungeon of people living out secret fantasies and personas, but things like facebook meant that the nation is online for a significantly longer period of time, but its just doing things like playing mafia wars, tagging photos and chatting, which is far from the utopic/dystopic predictions of the early 90s.

Crying on cue doesn’t sound like its screaming at the Internet, but it is poking fun at the way we ‘emoticon’ on the web or the way that given the chance to recreate a persona via technology, oftentimes the result is hilarious.

Click to watch “Crying on cue”


Talking to Ivan Puig

Question: Tell me about “Up to the nose”

HASTA LAS NARICES (Up to the nose ) 2004 consists of three sculptural pieces. Many metaphorical images can be found. Its origin is related to exasperating situations and their true proportions.

The format resembles that of a comic book. As the viewer walks  trough the installations a zoom out can be appreciated. This discursive system gives  the third room a special importance, since it is there were the whole piece is synthesized and dimensioned.
The first room is a striking image. It´s hard to believe that you are seeing just what is left of a sank VW Beetle inside a gallery. While the walls, the car and the water, all in white, give you a non-tangible limbo sensation, the static water without a single ripple on it makes the spectator wonder about what he is standing in front of.
Entering the second room makes you part of it, suddenly the spectator feels submerged   ¨up to the nose¨ along with the protagonist. The room walls are painted 5 feet high with  light blue to demonstrate a water tank in wich a  life size self portrait figure of the author seems to be floating, with the water line just below his nose.
Upon  reaching the third room, one finds the piece that  gives the exhibit a real proportion, a nine-inch  glass containing a scale VW beetle and a drowned little man in white water, placed on a table sitting in a room inside a gallery located in the downtown of a city  in a country of a planet.


Talking to Mercedes Helnwein

Question: Tell me about “Whistling past the graveyard”

“Whistling Past the Graveyard” is an American idiom, and means pretty much just that:  whistling while walking past a graveyard.  Faking a cheerful front.  Trying to smother some fear.

Screen shot 2009-11-07 at 12.23.51 AM
For some reason this idiom made sense in relation to my new body of work.  It just seemed to fit.  Judging by their expressions I’d say there’s probably something the girls in these drawings would rather not talk about – something they’d prefer to sit on.  And they’re keeping it in, but it’s kind of leaking out of their faces.
Screen shot 2009-11-06 at 11.37.43 PM

I don’t know what that something is, since I can’t read their minds.  These girls take on their own life as soon as I start to put them down on paper and they stare back at me.  They don’t really feel that they owe me any explanations.
Screen shot 2009-11-06 at 11.36.41 PM

In any case, I realize there’s a lot of toys going on in this series and with that comes a sense of something innocent, frivolous and child-like.  I do think there is something innocent there, but as I said, I still have a hunch that the general train of thoughts in the girls’ heads are going in the opposite direction.
Screen shot 2009-11-07 at 12.20.13 AM
When I start a drawing I don’t go about it intellectually.  That is to say, I don’t sit down and wonder, “Well, first of all what am I trying to say with this?  What is my message?”  I don’t map anything out with a pie chart. Fine art is far too visual a process to include much rational thought (and maybe I speak for myself here).  In fact, sometimes I feel it’s beyond visual – like some organic process in a phantom organ behind my liver.
Screen shot 2009-11-06 at 11.43.25 PM
So I can guess at what’s happening in these drawings, just like anybody else, and if you’re interested in my personal guess I can expound on it.  But it’s just a guess.  I’m less interested in narrating and more interested in presenting an image that will crank up other people’s imagination and hopefully send it somewhere really weird.  And the titles I attach should only expedite that.

I hope that helps scratch the itch.


Talking to Chris Anthony

Question: Tell me about “Victims and Avengers”

Here’s a little text for V&A:

I don’t wish harm upon anyone.
I don’t wish harm upon the women in my life.
I don’t wish harm upon my father.
I don’t wish harm upon the millions of husbands and fathers
who raped and smote and maned and killed and killed again,
except for here,
in these,
my dreams,
my pictures.
My revenge.


Rashidja, 2007


Zooey, 2007



Talking to Jade Walker

Question: “Tell me about “Figure 6”

Figure 6 is part of a bigger group of figures that I see one day taking over the world!!!
The piece is about our bodies, the gym, procreation, and soft spots.

figure-6 f6back

Figure 6, 2009


Talking to Kelsey Brookes

Question: Tell me about “Two Cats One Canvas”

This painting was made for my first solo show, in Switzerland a few years
ago.  I was doing a lot of what I was calling “semi-sacred” images at that
point inspired by Hindu religious art.  I found images of animals that I
liked then images of human figures that I liked and cut and pasted using
Photoshop and painted the result.  Forced mutation maybe.  “Two Cats one
Canvas” ended up being one of my favorite pieces.  I think its
interesting, arresting and funny at the same time.  The tongue in cheek
title happened last minute but really finished the piece of nicely.


Two Cats One Canvas


Talking to Michael Sieben

Question: Tell me about the best taco you ever had?

The best taco I ever had was a White Mountain Vegita taco that I made in my kitchen. I cooked the Vegitas in a non-stick pan on medium heat for about ten minutes. While I was heating up the Vegitas I threw some onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and garlic in a pan and cooked them with a little olive oil and tamari. When the vegitas and the veggies were done cooking I heated up some Central Market tortillas (a dude in the bakery explained to me that their recipe was similar to a crepe which is what gives them the slightly elastic texture) and chopped up an avocado. I put all of the taco ingredients in the tortilla, put some avocado on top and then put some field greens on the top of all that other stuff. Then I added some Cholula. I think that’s everything. Then my wife and I sat down at our living room table and ate tacos and watched a movie. Let’s just say it was Dazed & Confused. A lot of people forget that Ben Affleck was in that movie.


Next Year, 2009


Head Home, 2009




Talking to Justin Goldwater

Question: Tell me about “Desert Maneuvers”

When I was drawing these desert scenes, I was trying to freeze these energized points in time in my imagination that somehow captured the comical and ludicrous aspect of human camping. I’ve always wanted to drive a shitty car directly into a stand of majestic Saguaro cacti, even though I love them and hate it when I see one that’s been destroyed. They have an energy. Everyone’s been a sleeping bag burrito. Have you ever picked up a huge sack of breakfast tacos for your buddies? You dump it out on the picnic table and there’s this satisfying thump. It is a ridiculous pile of food. Shared human experiences can be referenced obliquely and mingle in odd visual ways; that’s the power of investing fantasy into artwork. It doesn’t have to mean something profound for me. It just should tickle something you maybe didn’t know you had in you. This was one of those drawings that I didn’t think about too hard and yet I was pretty happy with it.


Desert Maneuvers, 2007


Talking to Elaine Bradford

Question: Tell me about “The Museum of Unnatural History”

8967666The Museum of Unnatural History was kind of a culmination of years of working on and thinking about these sweater covered animals. I’m a big fan of childrens literature, and how, in stories such as Alice in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz, people find themselves lost in unfamiliar places that seem to exist right along side our own. I have always been interested in this idea of parallel worlds, and what you might see in them if you could just find the entrance. So as I had been making all these animals covered in colorful crocheted sweaters, I was thinking about running into them in the natural world. Images of walking through a forest and seeing a deer in a sweater cross your path kept popping into my mind. I wanted to create that experience for the viewer, and enable them to see into that world. Natural history museums are some of my favorite places. The way they recreate nature to bring it to people who might not see it seemed like the perfect solution for bringing my sweatered creations to the viewers. With a lot of help from friends I created these life sized dioramas which let people peek into this world of the Sidereal. A writer friend of mine, JD Ho, created amazing scientific text allowing you to read all about the creatures and their habitats, which really added to the educational museum feel of the show. And I hope the whole experience helped people suspend their disbelief for a little while, and be able to believe that these kind of worlds can exist.


Tragus januali, 2009


Talking to Jill Pangallo

Question: Tell me about “Let me Entertain You”

“Let Me Entertain You,” was about me letting myself off the hook after all the grad school over-thinking. I wanted to get away from focusing on whether or not what I was doing “art” and just put on a show. Who cares if it’s performance art or sketch comedy—I just want to “entertain” you! At first, I was feeling shy about falling back into the “one woman show” cliché, but in the end I couldn’t deny who I really am. (I have mostly Carol Burnett and Lily Tomlin to thank for that.) LMEY provided an excellent opportunity to pull together a lot of performance projects that I’d started, but hadn’t finished. It was exciting to see different threads and themes emerge as the show evolved. Of course, identity—that’s central to my work to begin with—but also communication, isolation, and the confusion overload of a hypertext world! LMEY also wouldn’t have been the project it was without the skills of many talented collaborators: Alex P. White, Ivan Lozano, Max Juren, Michelle Marchesseault, Lee Kerby Webster and many others. I am a huge fan of the collaboration. If you haven’t got some, get some.


Let Me Entertain You,  2009

LMEY on Flick

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