Slice. Release.

It rises up. Falling down, seeping in, surrounding. Not willing to let up. Refusing to reconcile. Refusing to find a place to rest.  A muscle, an organ, a space somewhere inside. Anywhere.

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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.

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Not unlike my weird finger situation

Today upon entering the world of retail to get stuff for a show, I hit the Myer department store. As I hunted for ‘those stockings’, ‘that eye colour’ I found myself thinking only in facebook posts – my brain was churning with status updates  – but I don’t remember any of them – they were so f*king banal, so f*king boring, so f*king lame. Each one explaining the slight psychosis I was experiencing in the shopping precinct, the futility of consumerism and the banality of my fellow shoppers.  My brain was processing these thoughts while I was immersed in the world of shoppers, consumers – I felt as if I was wearing status updates on my forehead.  Perhaps this was my way of averting the panic that generally wells inside me when I am in these environments. Thinking in status updates in a department store I hate, acted like a baby’s pacifier in my mouth, a Valium on my tongue.  Thinking in status updates in a department store I hate, was a call out to the social network that affirms my identity – a social network where my posts get liked, where people poke me, invite me, comment me. When drowning in alienating consumer hell today – facebook status updates maintained my sanity – I think I need a dislike button.

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Naughts and Crosses

Some times I like to play Naughts and Crosses – I don’t always win – I can’t walk away from the game – I get pretty taken with the fascination of it – the sense of calm that sweeps over the world  – I want the moment, not the memory – I don’t actually want to win – Sometimes I play with language, destroy it, etch it into my body, regret it – I begin things that order themselves – compulsive – no way to stop so I just keep going and I call it art – I am actually just doing what I have to do – like talking to you – whether or not you want me too – whether or not you are listening – whether or not you are there – I just keep going – the sense of calm the sweeps over the world.

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Fancy Work Indeed.

This weekend I had the absolute pleasure of participating in “Fancy Work” at Pipemakers park in Melbourne. Pippa Willson  of Future Art Research had constructed a stunning house out of domestic waste plastic and installed it in the park amongst the trees and near the river for 5 days. I attended for the afternoon dressed as a fifties house wife and served cup cakes and tea (I also did a little bit of tidying). There were weaving lessons with NT fibre artist Adrienne Kneebone, kids were playing wildly in the park, Izzy Brown showcased her political hip hop videos and there was one helluva cowgirl Diva Dingo cracking her whips. In a world where most of our entertainment is paid for and highly controlled Pippa created a space where we traded art, ideas, films, performance, energy, stories, food and fun – no cash required, no specialist knowledge required, no security guards, no pressure, just space, time and colour.
I left each day reflecting on the fact that art, when it distances itself from the art market, can be non-capitalistic it can be a place/time where we go for recreation that isn’t a pub, a shopping centre or a TV screen bombarded with adverts.  ‘Fancy Work’ was fancy because we fancied creating some work together, we fancied sharing stuff, we fancied to do something which didn’t focus around the grind of buying and selling.

Thanks Pippa, thanks FAR and thanks to all the fabulous people who made ‘Fancy Work’ fancy in all the right ways.



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And again.



The feelings are soft and insidious.
This is inevitable.
This will affect me forever.
This is somewhat banal.

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C’mon Mickey. I love you. Live Art.

Finally it is here! A short clip from my 3 hour durational live performance installation. C’mon Mickey. I love you was performed as part of the 2010 Melbourne Fringe Festival. As one of my  ‘one woman’ works it was the culmination of my experimentation with themes of fragmentation, deconstruction of the self, psychological displacement, love and grief. It was like a museum. It hurt. It was a cathedral.

Images of the show are here

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C’mon Mickey. I love you.

Check out images from the show here.

In a bold new work, Lizzil Gay, the fiercely provocative artist with a reputation for literally surgically attaching her heart to her chest is set to immerse you in her latest live art installation. Self-styled surgeon who prefers the term puncture over pierce – her erotically charged performance art is not to be missed! During the Melbourne Fringe, Lizzil is transforming the basement of Donkey Wheel into an intimate installation space of love for Mickey and you. Post her a letter and she will sew your dreams to her heart with intricate surgical precision. Crooning love songs she will hold you as a gaseous cloud of madness descends and you realise you are never alone.

Dates: 23-26 September, Open for viewing between 6 and 9pm.

Book Now – Melbourne Fringe

“I seek harm to myself… busily provoking within myself the images… which can injure me and keep the wound open, feed it with images until another wound appears and produces a diversion.” Roland Barthes, A Lover’s discourse
Live body puncturing and/or cutting. Opening wounds, creating an image, creating wounds to create feeling, expression outside of language – that which cannot be said through language. The creation of my body as a site of artistic expression. Site specific rupturing of the skin on my body. Take the image of the wound away, add it to your own collection.

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Sexy or naked?

As a performer who likes to prance around nude a bit I started to reflect about the role of nudity in performance art as opposed to the role of partial nudity in burlesque. There are many angles to consider this from but I am coming from an experiential position where nudity invokes an unsexy response from the audience. I recently did a performance where after a very restrained removal of my clothes I ended up standing nude for the audience. In other burlesque gigs where one poses and wears fabulous lingerie and gets off some but not all of it the crowd whoop and whistle and heckle. Standing front on and naked the crowd where silent. An odd giggle perhaps, a ‘what’s she gonna do next’, but no whistling or ownership of the image before them. Why? Perhaps the lack of lingerie removes the signifiers of ‘this is tease and it’s for you’. Perhaps the full nudity says ‘this is a woman’s body standing for herself embodied in its form’. This is what you might see if you walked into the bathroom to see your mum, sister or girlfriend. This is not sexy it is just sex – it seems strangely innocent of signifiers.
My body is tall, my boobs are reasonable, I am not skinny or fat, attractive apparently – I am a bit of a ‘normal’ chick (like there is such a thing). So why not whoop and whistle when I am naked? Do the final bits of lingerie, the g-string or the pasties give the audience permission to own the image? Are they as Baudrillard claims a mark/sign of the erotic? Does the full nudity and lack of pose simply distance the image from pornography – where our ladies constantly leave something on to offer contrast, to cover the hidden garden of Eden? Is the nude female body not what we have signified as ‘sexy’ but as ‘woman’ and the many contradictions of what that may mean? Perhaps I wasn’t objectifying myself enough to create titillation in the audience. Good. Maybe the non-eroticised naked body of a woman a confronting because this body is a subject and she knows it.

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Eat Sh*t.

This weekend I did a gig at the Noise Bar in Melbourne. It was a fundraiser for ‘GECO’- a fabulous crew of activists saving the forests of East Gippsland. It was a punk gig and my executive HR Consultant character Ms Deluxe was called on to MC. She works for Sarina Russo Recruitment  specialising in work for the dole programs and monitoring peoples ‘volunteer work’. At the end of a busy night of organising ‘f*king ferals’ and introducing performers Ms Deluxe finally gets her tea break. She melts down, the performance artist within takes over and her executive boundaries peel away! Poor pet, lunch for an HR consultant is never easy. It was an excellent night with great bands and other great performers. I love it when the ‘band’ scene hands over a good hour for performance to happen instead of trying to stuff us in between bands amongst incredible amounts of sound equipment on a carpeted stage. Fabulous night and this character is pumped for a public intervention somewhere soon – so look out for it!

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