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A new chapter of Lisa Anita Wegner's storytelling.

Filmmaker Performance Artist www.mightybraveproductions.com

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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the first week after my full time trauma therapy ended, i did a pretty good job of mostly rest and self care. doing just the basics to get ready for my upcoming exhibits and performances.

last night i slept from 5:30 pm to 10:30am (whoa) and then today my brain could barely chug itself around making a cup of coffee.  i was confused all day and stressed because there were a few small details i had to figure out. i needed to call in a friend to help and now i am ready for the rest of the week, and i can mostly rest. my cognition can still drop out and then i feel like i can’t wrap my brain around much besides cuddling my dogs and making stuff.

i feel a little better now that i made this picture. and wrote this. making stuff is really the only way through for me.

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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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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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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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This is What it Feels Like: Mixed Media sculpture by Anonymous (A)

When I was brought on to Gallery 1313 to co-curate the Windowbox I was keen to bring work that is created through non-traditional means. November 2014 I am proud to show “This is What it Feels Like” by Anonymous, a woman I met in 2011 in The Women’s College Hospital Trauma Therapy Department.  She told me how therapeutic making art is for her and she is happy to have been given art making as outlet in the SPEAKArt Program.

It resounded with me when A talked about feeling inhuman, like three unstable delicate floating balls, unable to ground herself without the help and approval of other people. She feels like she’s been put together like a delicate patchwork and despite trying to cover this with normalcy, her hiding was transparent. She feels her body is a flying machine too unyielding for her to steer. Her little useless limbs hanging there, taunting her. She needs so much support just to exist it’s like she can’t stand up without support. She feels that her loins, belly and heart are blown open for everyone to see into her. I could visualize this as she was talking. I encouraged her to create the piece for herself and asked her if she would feel comfortable showing her work in The Windowbox to help start a conversation and perhaps inspire with other abused women through making and appreciating art.

 
 
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Made with tissue paper, wood, wire and found objects this piece is disturbingly beautiful and delicate self-portrait of a soul in distress.
My artist finds it hard to leave the safety of her home and wishes to remain anonymous. I fee privileged to be able to translate this piece for her. I used found objects from other projects and took the materials to her home. Through a simple papier mache sculpture A manages to evoke a feeling of a lost woman and her unhinged journey. While she is delicate, floating and blown open there is hope: a butterfly has landed on her and her third eye is open. She struggles with society, trying to fit into clothing that is far too small. And this lady is wrapped in a bridal veil, which hides her hunched back because she feels a  societal and family pressure to marry and the noose-like rope around her neck was the final touch.
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She considers herself a shut-in and blushed deep when I called her an artist. A is empowered for having made the leap to have created something from her imagination and feels it  is helping her making peace. She will be there in spirit at the Opening.
 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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Artist Lisa Anita Wegner has had a wave of unexpected financial success when Haus of Dada started offering LAW Thought Certificates for sale. Originally priced at a mere $200 to think about Lisa, when they were announced as available the price shot up to sell at over a thousand times their original value.

An anonymous German collector was thrilled that he holds the first gallery sanctified thought, purchased at $300,000 CDN. He owns the thought of Lisa Anita Wegner in her signature white suit for 2014. “Many others are allowed to think it, but I own it- I paid for it” the collector boasts.

“We don’t want Lisa saturating people’s minds, we want them wanting more. So we will stop the sales next week and then “Memories of LAW” ownership certificates can only be viewed be during upcoming March 9th performance at the Museum of Modern Art or next season as a guest performance at the Art Gallery of Ontatrio” says her manager who goes by his street name Wheels. 10632756_10154674563975521_2249571178938028204_n

Unexpectedly the first week of October, Haus of Dada stopped the sale of these thought certificates and Lisa insisted the 3.3 Million CDN be divided amongst local charities.

“All this wealth flashed around felt creepy,” admitted Lisa, who will now be giving these valuable Thought Certificates to people who have directly inspired her. “If these folks want to cash them in, that is up to them. It is a gift.”

willisBruce Willis poses with a rare shot of a LAW Thought Certificate. “I’ll never let this piece go.” Declares Willis

 

So artists, art patrons, curators and media are all waiting to see who is chosen to receive  these valuable pieces of paper.  “Finances will have nothing to do with it. They go to those who have given me something much more valuable than money. Inspiration and human connection.” says Lisa with a big smile.

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October 13, 2014 Fritz Snitz for Haus of Dada

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Toronto based Performance Artist Lisa Anita Wegner responded to New York Artist Lana Newstrom’s recent success with collectors, selling her invisible art.

Lisa immediately was inspired by this bold manoeuvre and teamed up with curators Fritz Snitz and Candy Warhol who started started charging art collectors to think about Wegner.

In the first week alone, collectors in New York, Berlin and Saltzburg have paid out 3 Million to be the first to own the thought of Lisa Anita Wegner.

Lisa is represented by Haus of Dada in Toronto, although if you want to be in the ranks of these collectors you had better hurry. After a mere week there is already talk of limiting the purchases. An anonymous German collector is thrilled that he holds the first gallery sanctified thought, purchased at $300,000 CDN. He owns the thought of Lisa Anita Wegner shown below. “Many others are allowed to think it, but I own it- I paid for it” the collector boasts.

“We don’t want Lisa saturating people’s minds, we want them wanting more. So we will stop the sales next week and then “Memories of LAW” ownership certificates can only be viewed be during upcoming March 9th performance at the Museum of Modern Art or next season as a guest performance at the Art Gallery of Ontatrio” says her manager who goes by his street name Wheels.

Lisa Anita Wegner will not let us forget her.

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COLLECTORS information: http://www.mightybraveproductions.com/collectors

Article: The Dada Times, Toronto by Mama Dada

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