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A new chapter of Lisa Anita Wegner's storytelling.

Filmmaker Performance Artist www.mightybraveproductions.com

Category Archives: Love Letters

Lisa Anita Wegner (°1973, Toronto, Canada) creates performances, installations, films and conceptual artworks. By parodying mass media by exaggerating certain formal aspects inherent to our contemporary society, Wegner makes works that can be seen as self-portraits. Sometimes they appear idiosyncratic and quirky, at other times, they seem typical by-products of American superabundance and marketing.

Her performances often refers to pop and mass culture. Using written and drawn symbols, a world where light-heartedness rules and where rules are undermined is created. By rejecting an objective truth and global cultural narratives, her works references post-colonial theory as well as the avant-garde or the post-modern and the left-wing democratic movement as a form of resistance against the logic of the capitalist market system.

Her work urge us to renegotiate performance as being part of a reactive or – at times – autistic medium, commenting on oppressing themes in our contemporary society. By using popular themes such as sexuality, family structure and violence, she creates with daily, recognizable elements, an unprecedented situation in which the viewer is confronted with the conditioning of his own perception and has to reconsider his biased position.

Her works demonstrate how life extends beyond its own subjective limits and often tells a story about the effects of global cultural interaction over the latter half of the twentieth century. It challenges the binaries we continually reconstruct between Self and Other, between our own ‘cannibal’ and ‘civilized’ selves. By demonstrating the omnipresent lingering of a ‘corporate world’, she touches various overlapping themes and strategies. Several reoccurring subject matter can be recognized, such as the relation with popular culture and media, working with repetition, provocation and the investigation of the process of expectations.

Her works are saturated with obviousness, mental inertia, clichés and bad jokes. They question the coerciveness that is derived from the more profound meaning and the superficial aesthetic appearance of an image.

-500 Letters

Photo by Angela Chao at The Art Gallery of Ontario 2015

“Over the years that the way I pursue my work as been called amateur. Found objects and donated equipment have become my jam and I realize an unending burning desire to tell stories through any means possible. I take it a compliment as I will always been an amateur artist in the true sense of the word. I do my work for the sheer love and hunger of it, and I will never stop. Through volume I am becoming practised with a body of film, installation and performance work. I feel lucky that money will never be a motivator of my creative output.” -The Ubermarionette 2020

Photo by Angela Chao 2016

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Akemi Nishidera’s love of all things paper began when she was a small child, and her grandmother would bring her gifts of origami and washi paper from Japan. After studying printmaking at OCA, she apprenticed in Japan for three years, immersing herself in the study of wash (traditional Japanese paper making). She then returned to Toronto and opened KOZO Studio Gallery, where she focuses on letterpress printing, and offers workshops on letterpress and book arts.
Growth, her new installation for Gallery 1313’s Window Box, represents a new avenue for her work in paper, using self-representations on paper to showcase a sometimes difficult, but evolving relationship to her own body. The piece graphically depicts the movement from rejection to acceptance, and the blossoming of the artist’s full potential once that goal is reached.
To see into Akemi’s process, inspiration, thoughts and motivation see her tumbler blog ahdoerei.tumblr.com
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Curated by Lisa Anita Wegner for Gallery 1313.
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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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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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on a two week holiday break from full time trauma therapy, i had a profound experience today when i was meditating in the tub. i talked in an earlier posting about meeting ziggy stardust in my meditations (read the post here) and being compelled to do a live transformation at the black cat gallery in toronto in july 2014 called STARDUST: Life on Jupiter (see official site here).

since christmas i had come through a time of feeling super exhausted and my cognition has been dropping out mixed with bouts of very hard sleeping and inspired art making. even when i could barely move, i was compelled to draw with pencils. and then shoot and edit video in my lap:

so today i decided to meditate and consider what if this comfort, confidence and compunction inside my creativity would have come out as a child? and i got a clear vision of myself in public school getting my ziggy on and while this picture is not me, it totally could pass (like the fake puppy pictures of my rescue dogs).

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i did dress up and start young creative ventures: but i stuck to playing girls. orphans, pioneers and magic nannies were my childhood specialties. and now i feel free to play anything, human or otherwise, on or off the space time continuum. and i’m having way more fun.

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if i would have found my ziggy then, my current experience would be remarkably different. and just by imagining it, i feel everything opening up. i think i will add being a childhood ziggy stardust: rockstar alien to my fictitious history, and I’d cut a mullet without hesitation. that is when i finally give birth to my artist self in “The Fictitious History of The Haus of Dada” here is a taste of that multi year project. i’m just at the beginning of it.

happy 2015 everyone!

lisa anita wegner

 

 

 

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Since Nuit Blanche on October 4th 2014, artist Lisa Anita Wegner has been performing as Thin Blank Human with her face and body completely covered in a white spandex suit. She talks about the surprising experiences of her audience interactions these last weeks as she talks to Fritz Snitz.

In the weeks leading up to Lisa’s third and last Nuit Blanche installation TRIANGLE: Ascension into Another Golden Age, Lisa discovered bending light with mirror film, a practise she calls Light Painting. Her mind was blown open so wide from this discovery she never recovered. In the days leading up to the event Lisa was not able to decide on an outfit for Mama Dada/ Space Guide. Several days before Nuit Blanche it all came together when Lisa found a white spandex morph suit and she never looked back.The Thin Blank Human came to life.10484925_10154646615130521_7406620484583067895_o
Q: On the eve of your Performance/ Projection/ Sculpture installation TRIANGLE: Ascension into Another Golden Age you were interviewed by local news and walked once to The Black Cat as The Think Blank Human, with only a headset and GoPro camera her your head. Tell us about that.
 A: My outfit really wasn’t coming together, and when I saw the morph suit I felt like I’d found it and I decided to put my original Space Guide outfit on a mannequin and be The Space Guide’s Soul. This also felt right for the light painting that I was excited to do. I decided I was the spirit of Mama Dada who travels through space and time. In the suit I felt comfortable and free, the only thing is I really can’t see. I had an interview with local news and I wore just the suit, the headphones and a GO Pro on my head. 
 
I noticed during that quick interview that people stepped and leaned away from me when I approached and talked to them. And stared ay me with with open mouths. Someone on Dundas Street said “that’s a dude” as I passed. I walked once to The Black Cat from Haus of Dada and got similar reactions. The wind was cold on my body and I had an impulse to put a dress over the white morph suit for my own warmth and comfort. Without testing it in advance I put a Mama Dada dress over my suit and went back out. 
 
I spent the  rest of the night in a performing in a white morph suit and a dress and more obviously a woman I got friendly reactions and TRIANGLE: Ascension into Another Golden Age was a a wild success. That night Thin Blank Human was born.
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Q: And then you performed a Strip Tease called Nothing To See Here. 
 A: Yes later in October I performed Nothing To See Here at The Canadian Alternative Arts Collective (of which I am proud to be a new member) and here is where the gender issue started to become interesting. That night I didn’t speak. I gestured to the writing on the back of my Flight Suit and then would do various strip tease dances out of the suit. 
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At first an older man said ‘You are spectacular, can I ask if you are a man or a woman?” I answered “I am a woman” and he said “really?” and stared at me longer. I said “yes my name is Lisa” and he seemed not to believe me. During this packed event I stripped out of the flight suit many times. A second man came over and said to me “If you don’t stop that, I’m going to punch you in the face.” I was surprised  and responded playfully but didn’t stop. Third guy said “I don’t want to see a man strip. Stop it it’s fucking disturbing.” I said out loud “I am a woman.”  I overheard another man say “that is not a woman, no woman would dance like that.” I also heard “no woman would wear that.”
 
Interesting. First of all who cares? These guys care. I was immediately reminded of friend and artist Steven Joseph, who was my MUSE for TRIANGLE, he is a male who is given a hard time on a regular basis by males who get angry with him for looking like a beautiful woman.  Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 10.36.04 AM
 
These small examples led me to believe that I want to further experiment with gender and the morph suit. So my female body shape and female voice do not trump the idea that I’m a man.  – October 27 2014.

Fritz Snitz is arranging for Lisa to perform NOTHING TO SEE HERE in New York City in 2015 following a series of performances in downtown Toronto. Tonight for Halloween Haus of Dada presents a Screening/ Performance/ Installation FREE SURGERY on All Hallows Eve where Lisa will be performing as The Faceless Dr. Wegner. 

More about Thin Blank Human Artist Would Rather Give Ownership of Her Work to Those Who Inspire, Than Those Who Can Pay.

More: Performance Artist Charging Art Collectors To Think About Her

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