First performed: November 1994, University of Winnipeg Students Association, Winnipeg, Manitoba
An off-the-shoulder night dress could be the sign for the advanced, “proper” woman. But, into the slim Skin of Normal formal wear is produced away from Saran Wrap, pierced with outward pointing, 4″ roofing finger finger nails. The costume sources that tome of enforced femininity, “The Total Woman”, which suggested ladies of this seventies that to help keep their wedding alive, they should greet their husbands, showing up house from a difficult days work, during the home, using just wrap that is cling. The nails that are long both this notion in addition to area regarding the apparel, and encourage the performance text that angrily and ironically confronts the absurdity of sex part definitions.
“2000 several years of patriarchy have actuallyn’t dampened my feeling of design. Once I have wearing the early early early morning, I’m doing a lot more than covering just a little initial sin. ”
The Dress: cling wrap, roofing finger finger finger nails, packing tape, zipper
Duration: ten minutes
First done: October 1993, Western End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Growing Up Suites
Growing Up rooms we and II explore the body that is lesbian a website of both pleasure and huge difference. Lesbianism, defined by desire to have other females, produces the label “homosexual”. During the time that is same concern with alleged social deviance is played away on queer people in a number of subdued and not-so-subtle methods, from isolation to censorship to violence.
Clad in mid-century underwear similar to architecture just as much as erotica, Dempsey recounts the secrets, discomforts and delights based in the taboo subject of youth sex. These tales tell stories of growing up lesbian: the attraction of sleepovers; the frisson of “unmentionables” into the Eaton’s catalogue; the world that is uncertain many years five to fifteen, marked by equal components wonder and confusion.
“Ten pages of underwear that resembled architecture, covered in buckles and zippers and snaps! Industrial strength underwear concealing parts of the body I didn’t have, areas of the body therefore powerful they needed equipment to keep them set up. ”
Duration: ten full minutes each
Component we first performed: March 1994, Le Lion D’Or, Montreal, Quebec
Component II first done: October 1994, Rumours club, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Picture: The Banff Centre
What does a feminist superhero appearance like? Can she leap high structures in a bound that is single? Bend metal along with her bare fingers? What’s her title? And does anybody keep in mind it? In a period ruled by truth celebrity and TV tradition, whenever everyone else may be a star, Dempsey wrestles the idea of “super” towards the ground. Discover the past reputation for masked avengers and caped crusaders! Hear stories of dazzling scholastic prowess! Be amazed by the aging, spandex-clad superhero and her alter ego, an untenured women’s studies teacher. Each executes astonishing feats of bravery armed with little to no more than poetry.
“whom could save us now? Given that many people are so busy self-improving, self-constructing, self-promoting? If Superman has time for you update their Facebook status, that is vanquishing wicked? If most people are now a star, that is actually super? All i can say is: the least among us for want of a better answer. The Clark Kents, the Peter Parkers. The unassuming, unambitious, the underpaid, the worried, the fine meaning, the homely, the lonely, the goat, the square, the drone, the also-ran, the fighting, the strange or at the very least just a little various. In a nutshell, it falls to us. They didn’t require superpowers. They had them thrust upon them. They rose to your event. They rose to leotards. And thus must we. ”
Duration: half an hour
First performed: May 2008, rt Building Community Symposium, Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art, Winnipeg Manitoba
Photos by Lorri Millan and Janet Shum
Consideration Liberation Army
In the summertime of 2007 (40 years following the Summer of adore), Dempsey and Millan created a web-based performance/media piece featuring a mock freedom-fighting liberation force focused on rampant thoughtfulness, critique and satire. Efficiency musicians, when feared, have actually in modern times been overshadowed by nameless, faceless militants! Terrorism is our tradition’s present fear, maybe not art, perhaps perhaps not a few ideas, maybe perhaps maybe not day-long happenings with human anatomy liquids! No further. Certainly, art and a few ideas have now been overshadowed for too much time!
The vocabulary that is visual of Liberation Army had been influenced by the iconography of US radicals of the 1960s. Many categories of that period combined flamboyance, militancy, and eloquence to push democratic and social reform ahead (the elements Underground, pupils for a Democratic Society, the Ebony Panthers, etc.). The records among these radical motions are rife with heartbreak, problems of judgment, silly extremes and bloody tragedy. They are filled with brilliant ideologies, inspiring orators, profound collective action, great cultural/artistic achievements and style that is high.
Maybe perhaps maybe perhaps Not unlike a majority of these radicals, Dempsey and Millan had been relocated by the need that is urgent cut through the non-stop sound of commercial passions, governmental and business spin, news saturation and fear mongering. Consideration Liberation Army invaded the internet: a sits this is certainly overrun with status quo cultural and commercial content. They even ventured in to the real-time globe to insert indications, symbols, tracts and noises made to provoke thoughtfulness, care and action.
The task had been unleashed regarding the public in Winnipeg on July 1, 2007, and proceeded until September, leading to summer time of believe. The artistic/political “cell” gained recognition, energy and legitimacy through a web site featuring manifestos, video communiques, “audio bombs”, stencil packages and a revolutionary hiking trip. Stickers, buttons and graffiti marked spaces that are public. Making use of diverse internet internet web sites through the community, for instance the neighborhood anarchist bookstore and coffeehouse, musician run venues, and downtown places, CLA created a full world of discussion, and a phase for shock, pleasure, and thoughtfulness.
Performed: July-September 2007, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Photos by Wiliam Eakin
This task started as a performance that is short when the Medusa symbol ended up being reconceived as an effective, Margaret Thatcher period businesswoman. After that it developed into a lengthier, multi-media performance exploring contemporary icons that are female concerns of energy (“whom has energy? Do I’ve energy? Where am I able to get some good? ”).
This piece is certainly one of Dempsey and Millan’s Archetype Performances for which familiar figures examine the classes and pictures through the tales, fables and codes which have shaped us. Dempsey and Millan subvert these icons accepted definitions and re-tell their stories from a female perspective that is contemporary.
“I understand this could shock you, but beneath this demure, feminine outside lurks a dark part. An animal nature in the event that you will that from time and energy to time slips away. You cannot inform by taking a look at me personally, but it is here. It is sneaky. It really is sexy. Also it desires to inform you of a weightloss program that actually works. ”
Duration: brief variation five minutes; long variation 40 moments
Quick variation first performed: 1992, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba january
Longer variation first performed: February 1993, Festival du Voyeur, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Photos by Lorri Millan
Grocery shop ended up being a website performance that is specific produced by The Co-Op Collective: Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan, jake moore and Zab. For three months in August 2002, it offered meals and meals for idea in downtown Winnipeg’s Ace memorial. The installation (a operating food shop staffed by Dempsey and Millan) offered over $5000 worth of food, and crucial conditions unavailable in Winnipeg’s core. Radio ads, a circular marketing purchase rates, and a mail-in-coupon campaign to your mayor requesting real-life downtown solutions, expanded the discussion concerning the way of metropolitan revitalization inside our town.
Duration: 3 months
Performed: 2002, aceartinc. August, Winnipeg, Manitoba