Not quite Live.

Oh yeah did I mention I am a performance artist, video artist, installation artist, critical thinker, activist. I call myself these things because it is what I do. Sometimes they become joined in the production of work, other times they stand alone with me as I struggle in a world where art seems only of worth if it commodity. So I am writing about this again (eye roll) because during a conversation recently I was asked “why don’t you just sum yourself up as a Live Artist or something and get into a scene? Easier, sums up what you do, sounds good, contemporary, networkable, marketable…fuck you might actually get funding for once!” Well how can I answer other than I feel lost in a world where work must be definable, marketable, engaged in the great church of funding, support and sponsorship and let’s face it the two two ‘C’ words – Consumerism and Capitalism? I can’t pretend – I do not want to be managed, I do not want to be focused on labelling, defining, branding, selling, applications, business agreements, marketing, strategies of artistic production, my processes, the essence of my practice. I realise during the conversation that I am finally just unapologetically not interested.

I want the making of my artwork to be an act of inspiration, hardwork and dedication that creates some form of psychic liberation for me and some form of experience for my honoured spectator – be it an experience of entertainment, repulsion, joy, horror, excitement, arousal, sadness, catharsis, political illumination – or hell maybe they wee their pants. At times when I write applications, media releases, fill in forms, my intended work slowly dissolves before my eyes and I feel trapped. Caught in a web of making meaning out of what is supposed to come from parts of me I am yet to access. A hard to touch space where my constant, brain frying research into the political and cultural sphere of the world I live in merges with an unknown part of me and becomes the beginning of something exciting, inspiring that calls repeatably, neurotically at me to be made. Something that refuses to rest until realised in some form.

About Lizzil Gay
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2 Responses to Not quite Live.

  1. Mars Drum says:

    I too find quantifying my art in economic terms, clothing it in the language preferred by funding bodies and arts councils, to be quite a distasteful exercise…there’s a bunch of “art grant words” that seem to have to be included in applications., eg “traversing” …no can do. That word was fine by me until I began to notice art-speak…I started seeing it at every exhibition, in every artist statement…now it leaves a bile-like taste.

    Why so many artists don’t apply for funding.

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