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A new chapter of Lisa Anita Wegner's storytelling.

Filmmaker Performance Artist www.mightybraveproductions.com

Category Archives: art installation ideas

When I was brought on to curate the Windowbox, Claire L. Correia was one of the first artists I approached. Nine months later Claire is unveiling her ambitious piece IMAGINARIUM: Mothgirl, a multi-media kinetic sculpture and automatic shadow-puppet installation at Gallery 1313.

Portrait of the artist, by Kevin Niu.

Portrait of the artist, by Kevin Niu.

Join us at Gallery 1313 on Wednesday April 29th between 7.00 and 8.00 p.m. for an artist talk and screening of a film by Tarquin Richards.  The piece will exhibit for the Month of May 2015.

Last July Claire and I had our first meeting about IMAGINARIUM:

Here is a short trailer as the piece was coming together:

Imaginarium :: Mothgirl for the month of May, 2015.

The sill of the display window is very high – 51”, and so eye-level is close to the base of the bottom theatre. We peer up and into the Imaginarium, as though we were children taken to see the department store Christmas panoramas downtown. Kinetic pieces inside the Imaginarium move because they are attached to strings; these strings are passed through strategically placed pulleys, which in turn lead them backstage where they are attached to the wire baskets of oscillating fans. As the fans rotate, strings are either pulled or released – causing movement in the puppets.

In the lower theatre, the Imaginarium uses theatrical set design and shadow-puppets to reveal the wonder of a young Inuit girl as she first sees moths on the land. Above the girl, the upper theatre reveals the busy Spirit world that surrounds her, she cannot see, but is there nevertheless. Although this piece comments on climate change (in the Arctic, as permafrost is melting and glaciers are receding, creatures previously unknown to that landscape are moving further and further into the North), here the viewer is invited use her imagination and simply enjoy the view, as she did when she saw those Christmas windows as a child.

Artist Claire Louise Correia

Curated by Lisa Anita Wegner for Gallery 1313 Windowbox

Creative Support by Don Brinsmead
Documentary and editorial support by Tarquin Richards

Claire Correia was born in 1961, and spent her first years in London, England. In 1968 – when she was seven years old, Claire’s mother took she and her sister hitchhiking across Europe to Ibiza, and on to Morocco.They lived on the road for some time – after which the two children lived with a guardian on a farm, and then with their grandparents in their large country house. Eventually the girls joined their mother and her new husband in Bermuda, where they spent their teenaged years.

Claire came to Canada and attended the Ontario College of Art in the early 1980s, stayed, and maintained a drawing and painting studio in Toronto until 2011.

Six years ago, while watching over a dying friend – Claire had a vision, during which she saw her friend’s vibrant spirit floating in front of the exhausted body. After this experience, Claire’s art changed ;The works of Mark Rothko and Jean Miro held new meaning for her as she saw connection between them and her own mystical experience. She began thinking about ways to evoke the invisible world with which we share space, and from this began Heaven’s Breath –
an ongoing major body of work for which she works with flameworked and cast glass, metal and wood, attaching thousands of tiny hot glass spheres and other elements to the heads of pins, and then assembling them into relief sculptures.

There is a sense of freedom and purpose with Claire’s art today that was not present in her earlier drawing and painting. She feels guided in the work she is producing now, and is excited to constantly push herself into the territory of unfamiliar media. Her most recent piece, Imaginarium Mothgirl – a kinetic sculpture & shadow puppet theatre project, revealing life on both the visible and invisible planes as a young girl watches moths at dusk – exemplifies this push, as Claire begins to explore the possibilities of making art that moves.

Claire L. Correia Lives in downtownToronto with her family. She is a member of the Akin Collective art studio, and is also a design educator at Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology.

 

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Lisa Anita Wegner

Lisa Anita Wegner

Dear Gaga,

My name is Lisa and I am a filmmaker, performance artist, curator, storyteller, light bender and space/time traveller. You inspire me tremendously, and I am writing to express my appreciation for what you have sparked in my work, beginning with Queen of the Parade, my first large-scale performance/fashion/video installation and the work that put me on the map as an artist. 

Rise and Fall of The Queen of Jupiter 2016

Rise and Fall of The Queen of Jupiter 2016

 

In 2008, I had hit hard times – I lost my film production company, all my savings, my heart and my mind. I collapsed getting to the Cannes Film Festival in 2008 and spent the next two years largely unable to function. In the Trauma Therapy Department of Women’s College Hospital, I found art therapy. I started a daily art-making practice that saved my life. I had gone offline and expressing myself in art and video was my lifeline, my communication with the outside world.

I remember the exact moment the idea for Queen of the Parade was born: I was walking my dogs and listening to “Marry The Night” after I had been binging on the BBC Series My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. (I am obsessed with the gloriousness of Gypsy Fashion.)

That night, hearing your lyrics, “I won’t give up on my life/I’m a soldier to my own emptiness/I’m a winner,”  affected me profoundly, and set something inside me aflame. In a flash, I pictured myself as an enormous woman in a huge dress with a video screen on the front, with your song resounding in my head. I rushed home and wrote everything down in a crazy, inspired burst. This was the first step toward the 26-foot installation that was part of Toronto’s Nuit Blanche in 2013; during the event itself, I listened to “Marry The Night” on repeat with ear buds while I was twenty feet in the air.


This led to my first commission by Partners in Art, who commissioned a gallery-sized 10-foot Queen. This was a terrific experience that enabled to connect more directly with the audience, and I didn’t want the performance to ever end. 

 


Something was awakened in me and this led to a whole body of work of experimenting on and off the space/ time continuum and speeding up and stretching out moments. I could finally breathe; I felt like I had come alive.


My new performing persona Think(k) Blank Human was born the following Nuit Blanche in Toronto as part of my installation TRIANGLE. I found comfort in her skin, and really came out of myself as a performer.

In 2016, I will be creating The Fall and Rise of The Queen of Jupiter, which feels like the natural progression of my work. This time, I will be kicking off my high heels and putting on Thin(k) Blank Human’s space boots, and I shall rise from a pile of fabric into a 40 foot Alien Queen. Instead of strutting, I will run and dance.

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This performance piece will run 33 minutes and I would love permission to use extended versions of “Marry The Night,” “ARTPOP” and “Applause” as the soundtrack for the ascension. 

I am approaching Thelma Madine, the Gypsy dressmaker from the series, to design the Queen of Jupiter’s Gown, and I would love to have  permission to use those three songs.

This is my story of re-invention, and I feel like this is the first piece I’m presenting that is truly me. I’ve been searching for authenticity through artifice and I finally have landed on something. I feel extremely compelled toward this project. For women who have crashed and burned and for those of us who have gotten up, I feel it is our job to inspire others to get up and stand as tall as we can. You preach this every day, and this is one of the many reasons for my unbridled admiration.

Please let me know your thoughts me using your music for The Fall and Rise of The Queen of Jupiter in 2016.

An ocean of appreciation from my Haus to yours,
Lisa 

Mighty Brave + Haus of Dada, Toronto
bosslady@mightybraveproductions.com

p.s. Thin(k) Blank Human did many a cover of Marry the Night, she was so inspired.

 

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February 23 2015 Fritz Snitz for the haus of dada

Canadian Filmmaker Performance Artist, Lisa Anita Wegner was curiously missing from the opening party of Phil Anderson’s Sex Show V at Gallery 1313 on Queen Street West.

Still from Eva Gets a Better Job (2008)

Still from Eva Gets a Better Job (2008)

This group art show includes Eva Gets a Better Job (2008) a short film of Wegner’s. The opening on January 19th was a booming success and it was a shame the artist wasn’t there.

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Curator Fritz Snitz announced was forced to perform  (mī′grān′) at haus of dada in Toronto and was unable to make the Gallery1313 event.   (mī′grān′) performance poster

The Following day Ms. Wegner performed as Thin(k) Blank Human “Tech Scout for The Fall and Rise if The Queen of Jupiter” at Walker Court at The Art Gallery of Ontario. Afterward she teleported to The Artist Project. Photos by Angela Chao.

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The Artist Project with Adrienne Dagg

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Coming soon: Thin(k) Blank Human BadAss.
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February 20 2015

TINY [a group show] was in the works for six months for the Windowbox at Gallery 1313 and as I was imagining hanging all the glorious miniature work so high and far from viewers eyes, I realized that I was lost in my own cleverness. I decided to take these twelve artists’ amazing work to a new social art space being built now. A Whisky/ Bourbon/ Expresso Bar that I will be curating next season is a good fit where I can hang it in a corner or place it in a nifty cabinet. There it makes sense. Not as clever but so much better.

As if by magic the day the March Windowbox slot was open artist Phuong Nguyen (who seems to know everyone) emailed me and asked if I’d be open to a proposal for that very space. Why yes I would Phuong, yes I would.

I immediately enjoyed artist Greg McCarthy and his work. http://www.gregmccarthy.ca/

His pieces feel free and I resonate with the artiface and playfulness combination. When I saw his set ups, I felt confident that he could craft a great idea into the unusually shaped gallery space for me. When I went to his studio and he showed me his colleagues’s work and his very open and enthusiastic attitude to his art, I knew I made the right decision. A fellow life enthusiast, he is just as stoked about other artist’s work this makes me feel comfortable.

I was tickled when the piece he wanted to bring to Gallery1313, was the very piece that I chose to post for my announcement that I was working with him. Fake snow!

Not having had a great experience in my own artistic education  (I am a  York Theatre School drop out) it was a breath of fresh air to see the Thesis Studio at OCAD and all the unbridled creativity being fostered in there. greg-studioJPG

My last two Windowbox pieces were non-traditional: collaboration with Nolan a five year old child and an Anonymous and an out-patient at Women’s College Trauma Therapy Department.  I am happy to present a dyed-in-the-wool artist, Greg McCarthy. I am proud to present his re-imagining of his piece SPECTRE.

Original Piece by GregMcCarthy

Original Piece by GregMcCarthy

The installation Spectre in Gallery 1313’s window space looks into lineages in Canadian photographic history and how they affect the present. By creating collaged and edited versions of William Notman’s original studio setups and presenting them in a way that highlights the artifice of the image, the works look to re-examine the way in which we relate to our own histories, and the role that they play in shaping the present.

 

Notman’s images and others like them are so ingrained into Canadian culture that I feel as though they are due for a second appraisal, an examination into all that they connote in a contemporary context. From the iconic images of blissful figure skaters to intrepid caribou hunters, these images not only carry with them a romanticized view of a bygone era, but a history of how many Canadians chose to be depicted in the nation’s early years. They speak to the performativity of national identity and an idealization of what it meant at the time to be Canadian.

 

Spectre takes the provisional quality of Notman’s original setups and takes it to a hyperbolized extreme, the verisimilitude of the original falls away leaving the viewer with a stripped down copy of the original, a failed attempt at recreating the past. As gallery goers pass the figure looking down on them from the window they are asked to consider the history of what they will see inside and to consider what changes will need to be made as we move forward.

Lisa Anita Wegner, curator for Windowbox Gallery1313

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Lisa Anita Wegner is a filmmaker, producer, curator and performer who is accustomed to working in small local art galleries and screening venues in Toronto Canada.  Working with established curator Patrick MacCauley, Wegner got a taste of working large-scale when she was the 26 foot tall Queen of the Parade in front of an enormous audience for Scotiabank’s 2013 Nuit Blanche.

 

 

This led to several seasons working with performance in multi media environments, exploring soundscapes as well as video. In 2014 Wegner played a lead role in a scripted film, her first in six years, acting as the Caucasian Agent in Will Kwan’s http://www.reelasian.com/festival-events/if-all-you-have-is-a-hammer-everything-looks-like-a-nail/ commissioned by Reel Asian International Film Festival. She brought her team back to create  a Ten Foot Queen of the Parade the Partners in Art Annual Fundraiser, which Wegner says felt like her coming out party, meeting the Toronto Art World.

 

“I can’t stop performing. It was a thrill to be back on a traditional film set for Will Kwan just as much as it is to don by Thin(k) Blank Human outfit and perform my deepest soul searching in my studio. I always knew I loved it but now that it’s a daily practise I truly can not stop.”

 

Wegner is known for mentoring several artists and filmmakers per season at her studio Haus of Dada, so it makes sense that she would enjoy the benefits of mentorship herself. In a recent meeting with her Anonymous Mentor Artist, Wegner was told to think bigger and focus on the Male Rockstar Swagger that she developed after STARDUST: Life on Jupiter? at The Black Cat in 2014.

And then came the magic words to Wegner’s ears,

“Follow that swagger and dream a breakout show. I can see a collaboration. There might be an opportunity soon, and I’d work with to bring it to life.”

Wegner and her team are currently preparing to lift the curtain and to prepare the world to meet Thin(k) Blank Human Faceless RockStar. Lisa Anita Wegner wants to make her mentor proud.

-Fritz Snitz for Haus of Dada *The Fictitious History of the Haus of Dada* 2015

Another project from the Haus : Lisa Anita Wegner collaborating with a five year old artist on TARGET:

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Target is a piece by Nolan Georgakopoulos

When I undertook curating a series of installations for Gallery 1313’s Windowbox gallery, I made a conscious decision that I wanted to go off the usual path to find some of my artists.IMG_2489

As with the November Windowbox installation This Is What It Feels Like, Target does not come from a traditional source; rather than work with an established artist, I chose to work with a five-year-old boy who had never done anything for public display before.

I’ve known Nolan since he was a baby, and have always been taken with both the originality and specificity of his artistic ideas – for shapes, and colours, and how things fit together – that made him myfirst choice when I wanted to feature a kid’s art in the Windowbox.

With a collection of found objects that I thought Nolan might find interesting, and free reign to create whatever he wanted, what has emerged in Target is a true reflection of him – a self-portrait in a way, that features King and Queen representations of his parents, as well as himself in a Knight’s role.

What was fascinating to me in working with Nolan to create his piece, is that the process was exactly how I might collaborate and communicate with artists of any age. Target may be his first effort to create something for what he calls an “art stadium,” but it’s clear that he’s already tapped into a universal artistic urge.

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Call for Submissions: GALLERY1313 (http://g1313.org)

Lisa Anita Wegner, who has always loved unexpected sizing, is looking for extremely small art of any medium for TINY: a group exhibit which will on display for a month entirely in the Windowbox at 1313 Queen Street West. Please submit a jpeg with dimensions or the existing or proposed pieces.

Call for Performance Artists HAUS OF DADA: (www.mightybraveproductions.com)

Looking for a tall (6’2”+) slim male performer to perform with Thin Blank Human. Send us a picture, your height and performing experience.
http://lisaismightybrave.com/2014/10/31/performance-artists-perceived-gender-affects-audience-reaction/

Please contact Matthew or Patrick at hausofdadatoronto@gmail.com with TINY or THIN BLANK HUMAN as the subject line.

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