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A new chapter of Lisa Anita Wegner's storytelling.

Filmmaker Performance Artist www.mightybraveproductions.com

Tag Archives: art

Shannon Cochrane (FADO) sent me an audition notice for Will Kwan’s film, “If All You Have is a Hammer, Everything Looks Like a Nail”. On top of my daily video and performance practise which is part of my trauma therapy, I had been reaching out to collaborate and work on others’ projects as well. I looked up Will’s work and was really drawn so I contacted him and set up an audition and was thrilled that I got offered the role.
So far in the art world, the artist fees have been minimal and I’ve donated them back to each exhibition/production. I make art full-time to tame the effects of c-ptsd and now enjoy regular exhibits, installations and talks about my Art Therapy Practise. I live on The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and I get volunteers, donations and sponsors per project. Six years ago I feel extremely ill and have been in Trauma Therapy at Women’s College Hospital now for 4.5 years. I found art making as a resource in SPEAKArt with Art Therapist Eva-Marie Stern. My art keeps me functioning and it’s now come full circle back to my previous career of being an actress and film producer.
Will’s project is an ACTRA production and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to re-activate my Union membership for multiple reasons. I am starting intense full-time trauma therapy in October for eight weeks and even the union dues were too much for my budget. But by this point I had read Will script and couldn’t see myself not taking the role. I used all my trauma therapy tools to figure out that while I still need a lot of help on some fronts, performing is something that comes easily and learning the lines felt fun, not stressful. I decided to do the job and contact ACTRA President Ferne Downy for help manoeuvring this gig through the ODSP system as it is part of my body of work, I couldn’t turn it down. But I am not healthy enough to head back into the working world.
And despite doing excellently well for months, this project being ACTRA and involving money stressed me out as it could affect my health insurance payments. I was installing a multi projection set up for an event at the end someone asked my name. I didn’t know my name. I couldn’t remember my phone number. I hadn’t dropped out memory like that in years. I realize often the S in PTSD stands for stress. When something is important to me it throws my cognition and memory off in extreme ways. This time I knew to look at my business card for my name. I immediately went home and rested and made some art. I have six years of experience of what to do when basic skills drop out.
So with Ferne onboard I accept the gig and start working on my 17 pages of script. I play opposite to Michael Man, who has a page or two and otherwise I speak the entire time. My character is driving while delivering this dialogue. A three camera set up with four long takes in a 30 minutes triptych film.
I worked on my script daily. I would either read it out loud our think through the details of the script and the flow of the conversation. I looked at real-estate websites to see the vibe of the successful agents and I slept well and took care of myself. The morning of the shoot I woke at 6am to walk my dogs and I was pretty fresh. And I felt good about my prep work.
The shoot was an excellent environment, a small crew and Will was sensitive to my needs as well as everyone else’s. I felt like a different part of my brain kicked in, a confident performer brain that despite heat and driving did a reasonable job with the huge amount of dialogue. I felt great. This was my largest role to date in a film. And it is interesting that while certain stress stops me in my tracks, with daily work and therapy art, I can be a high functioning artist. And with my family and a group of friends helping me every day, I can do amazing things.
I’m really looking forward to seeing the film installation.
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During the makeup test for my upcoming performance/ live art making/ projection show STARDUST: Life on Jupiter? makeup artist Wanda MacRae and I created a universe we both wanted to play in.  We talked about the elements that we had in place and with that created a very simple performance based around the haircut, makeup and styling which transforms me into David Bowie’s character Ziggy Stardust in 3.5 hours, covered by entertainment reporter Katie Uhlmann, three go pro cameras and two art video interns that are “Stardust Technicians”.
Soundtrack by Wanda MacRae based on our mutual love of Bowie, Gaga, Boy George and a few other inspirations. My projected Stardust Video Studies will loop on the back wall of the gallery for the entire event.
I enter the gallery at 7pm with my wet hair in a towel, wearing a white lab coat. While my hair is pre dyed under the towel and my eyebrows are pre waxed and drawn on, I look essentially like myself. Wanda, the makeup artist is the “STARDUST Surgeon” as she is responsible for my transformation of my head. Wanda and I met performing with Erotic Nightmare a Rocky Horror Picture Show cast (I was Brad she was Janet) so we inserting a Rocky Horror feel. Our all female surgical crew will be dressed fashionably yet medically and have Wanda’s implements on silver trays. Both STARDUST Technicians are art video interns, they will have matching Canon Cameras and their second job is to record the event as creatively as they see fit. They will have the Stardust Lightning bolt on their faces.
I will sit in a hairdressers chair in the window of the Black Cat Gallery and absorb the feeling of the transformation while Wanda works. Once my hair is cut and styled I will put on one blue contact lens and partially dress under the lab coat, for the makeup portion.
lifeonjupiter?final
To build toward the ending, the white face powder will be brought out on a mirror by one STARDUST Technician while the second technician brings be a carton of whole milk. During the time Bowie was Stardust he imbibed only cocaine and whole milk. My white powder is face powder but that doesn’t mean we can’t cut it with a credit card. And I will be handed the whole milk, a treat for me once I’m STARDUST complete. I’m hoping Maha Richi, a stylist I’ve known since high school who is dressing me will be able to be there to put jacket/  the final touches on me for the cameras.
The STARDUST Technicians will countdown and pop glitter canons to signify the transformation is complete. I will mingle for the rest of the evening enjoying my milk after my Stardust Surgery.
Off all the wonderful work I have had the privilege of doing in recent years, this is what I’m most excited for. To see how it feels and how the world treats me when I have an orange mullet and no eyebrows.
The rest of the week I’ll be pulling my art practise from The Haus of Dada into The Black Cat gallery 2-6pm. Also by appointment in the evenings. I invite to come watch, play, interact, co- create or just look through the window while I play, shoot, edit, score and project as I work.
Wanda and I doing makeup test.

Wanda and I doing makeup test.

Closing party I’ll be Ten Foot Tall Queen of Stardust, with glorious rainbow gown by Vanessa Lee Wishart and video legs by Forever Epic Films.

Sneak peek at Vanessa Lee Wishart’s glorious rainbow gown for closing party

Thanks everyone who has helped me bring this to life.
Cheers and as always thanks to David Bowie himself, the quintessential artist mentor.
xo Lisa Anita Wegner

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windowboxselfie

To embrace the high angle and tall shape of The Window Box I found myself looking up into the empty Gallery 1313 Window Box space while contemplating what I wanted to fill it with. While I was contemplating someone took a picture of me. I have been fascinated by the fact that so many Smart Phone users now choose to interact with the world through the lens of their phones, constantly taking photos and video of everything that they experience and interact with. Even more fascinating is their desire, at events such as concerts, to take pictures of themselves with the action in the background, with this seemingly as important a part of the event as witnessing it firsthand. As an installation and performance artist, I have been struck by how a good 80% of the audience opt to look at my work through their phones.

 

The installation #windowboxselfie that will be in Gallery 1313’s Window Box during July of 2014, is designed to play on this compulsion, creating an invitation to its viewers to create a self-portrait while they take a picture of an art installation. The round mirror angled toward the viewer shows their face while jewel-tone film gels create a halo around their face. Mirror film with RoscoFlex S lighting gel creates a surreal reflective surface, giving the viewer a playful saint-like self-portrait created from their own reflection, in a celebration of the self made possible through new technology.

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The title #windowboxselfie is printed in on the glass front of the Window Box so that it will be captured in each photo taken; and this will result in the Window Box exhibition space itself proliferating in self-portraits posted on social media.

 

Through the artist’s and Gallery 1313’s online social media, there will also be opportunities for viewers to see the best of submitted selfies, and vote for those they like best in various categories, continuing the interactive nature of the installation.

 

#windowboxselfie was created by Lisa Anita Wegner, and continues the trends of her recent art practice in its use of found objects, and the theme of reflection. This installation in particular focuses on using film expendables for the majority of its construction, creating extra layers of meaning in using film supplies to create a ‘set’ that then encourages people to make their own ‘filmic’ records.

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Construction and design expertise was provided by Nikolai Berda of Longbranch Design, a company which specializes in providing design solutions for professionals in various creative fields. This is the third collaboration between Lisa Anita Wegner and Longbranch Design, with their design and fabrication skills having previously brought her installations for ScotiaBank Nuit Blanche 2013 and ARTrageous Art In Motion 2014 to life.

 

Materials for the installation have been supplied by The Haus of Dada, Lisa Anita Wegner’s film and art collective, with additional funding provided by Partners In Art.  Process video by Lisa Anita Wegner

 

We encourage taking and tagging of #WINDOWBOXSELFIE selfies. We will choose from the most interesting ones and prizes will be awarded and at the end of the month. So come to Gallery1313 at 1313 Queen Street West, take a look into the mirrors and take a picture of yourself.

 

The only thing missing is you.

 

Here is a short video of how we made it

 

 

Taking a Selfie Has More to Do With Self Worth Than You Realize: Read what Molly Fosco at Huffington Post has to say

 

#WINDOWBOXSELFIE

instagram @gallery1313 @lisa_anita_wegner @longbranchdesign

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I tell people all the time that I meditate but so far I’ve laid pretty low about my meditation buddy Ziggy Stardust.  It sheds light on my fascination, for those interested in such shedding.

Lately in my meditations when I look in a mirror I see a mashup of myself as/and Ziggy Stardust. It feels like the most natural thing in the world to have him lounging emanating pure pleasure and joy. This is in a meditation space where usually there is blank slate. I have a wild imagination but have tamed it diligently over the years- I’m pretty good at clearing my mind and creating a blank scene.  When outside chatter quiets and I’m able to hear myself Stardust is there I let him sit. Sometimes he offers a comment but often is silent looking at me knowingly.
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I’ve been compelled into creative action by this character more than an I ever expected.  I dig Bowie but it’s his 1973 spaceman rock god that has my imagination hostage recently. I started to get a sense that somehow I was seeing an unexplored aspect of myself.  I became compelled to try him on for size.
At Andrew Williamson’s gallery The Black Cat on July 31st 2014  I will perform a live transformation. Wanda MacRae hair and makeup artist will make the magic while I experience it. She will dye, cut and make me up replicating the Life on Mars video. Ouchy eyebrow removal also onsite. Of all the awesome  upcoming work, I am the most excited about his.
After we have some matching footage of the LOM video I’m going to figure out the next step. The rest of the week I’m editing live and filming in the gallery basically moving my art practise into a public space. Want to know how I make what I do, here’s your chance.  I just now realized I want to set up a go pro all week. I also have a second Stardust transformation happening on a lovely fellow in my life who looks like Bowie thus we will shoot Stardust on Stardust, the crescendo of the ultimate creative wank. Incidentally one of my dogs looks like the canine from Diamond Dogs album over so some half dog half human action is terrifyingly in order.
In 1973, the year that I was born David Bowie lived as Stardust for one year. I love that he knew the perfect length for an alien rockstar to live and killed him off in his prime. So somehow in 73 that poked into my imagination’s DNA.  I  have no idea where this is going to go, but I can’t wait to see the world treats me sporting the Stardust.

I declare myself officially part of the huge pool of artists inspired by the space man himself. Thanks Zig. Thanks Bowie. I am so excited to see where this door takes me and I’ll see you on the other side.
Now back to prepping video content for a group show UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT and then dodging raindrops with the diamond dogs.
LalalalaLisa
LAW of Transformation:
Stardust:
Life on Jupiter
the law of ziggy

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I am thrilled to bring one facet of  the TRIANGLE ascension experience to the opening of DIGITIZE, a show running at Moniker Gallery March 6-12. Come March 6th 7pm -11pm see all the art and ascend with me in my multi projector experience.

Here is a taste of the inaugural blastoff that was Feb 1st at Belljar.


TRIANGLE is a three location ascension experience with blastoff being October2014. The triangle is an ancient symbol used to meditate on ascension, as a conduit for higher energies, and as a cosmic aerial to receive the frequency of a higher realm. A triangle opens your third eye. Come be a part of 3 distinct sound and projection environments with timed performances by the artist who will be your Guide, ensuring your comfort during your intergalactic travel. The TRIANGLE will be located between 2186 Dundas -an art hub- The Belljar Bar and Cafe -a social hub- and Lisa Anita Wegner’s studio -an imagination hub- which closes the triangle.

Come and experience TRIANGLE, where everything mundane will be transformed into the marvelous. As all space and time exist in one moment, travel in and out is accessible to those who use the vehicle of the triangle.

Born from my Dada dream lab experiments, TRIANGLE began with the notion that with imagination, the mundane can transformed into marvellous. The various video images start with mundane footage, a flower, my feet walking, a few seconds of an octopus shooting ink. Through layering and playing with timeline I create what I call video studies. They are an everyday part of my art practise, a visual diary.

My art practice has a focus on re-birth, redemption, transformation, and process work, using a multi-media approach that fearlessly probes for the truth, richness and hard-won lessons from my personal journey over the past half-decade that has confonted me with extraordinary difficulties. Emerging from my personal darkness, I have come to love rhythm and repetition both on and off beats; as well as the beauty and possibilities of found objects – even with technology.  I work with a pastiche of donated equipment, and have embraced both the imperfections and new creative possibilities that result.

While spending time at three venues, I noticed that my studio, The Belljar Cafe, and 2186 Dundas gallery were located in a triangle. When I started researching the three-angled shape, TRIANGLE was born.

I am experimenting with a performing persona who lives outside the space/ time continuum. For TRIANGLE she will be the Guide, walking earthlings from one venue to another while performing in each projection once every hour. She wears a dress made from da-lite project screens and all her exposed skin is covered with white makeup.

the law of ziggy

My current body of work includes Dada Lab Experiments in which a multimedia “history” is created through spontaneous exploration for both myself and Haus of Dada, my studio. A silent black and white film titled Sunbathing on Mars 1916 is the backbone of this multi-year project. This for me is the ultimate creative freedom. As a trauma survivor, there is something cathartic in the ability to recreate myself and revise my history; and now TRIANGLE will be the first stage in inventing my future.

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welcome to my haus

countdown:

6 peanut butter balls left in the whole tin

5 days to the haus of dada happening

4 cookies fit in my mouth at once

3 rear projection screens fitted, cut and edged

2 video playlist curated, created, tested and ready to screen

1 new idea, set-up, experience and the documentation of it

0 things left to do

333

perhaps an ongoing series of happenings?

333

3 screens, roscoe half white

i’m heading outside for a spin around the ‘hood with the canine component

venus is in the haus, of dada

 

 

 

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today i have a list of tasks to do for my films and for my upcoming art installation. this morning i realized my brain was not in place to do this. after a long work week last week and judging an art competition on the weekend i could feel my cognition slip and no matter how many times it happens, it is still scary. i know i have to not fight it, relax, do what i can and let it come back. in a fews hours of slipping cognition my body starts shooting adrenaline from the fear and badda boom i’m slipping in and out of crippling panic. sometimes i can’t breathe and get a cold sweat. once that happens i have to go back to basics and breathe. then the extreme fatigue sets in. then i have to talk myself through a few rituals; making coffee; brushing my teeth; showering, walking my dogs; making art. i have realized it’s impossible to think myself out of the hole, but i can focus on other things that grab me. i have found documentaries on brain, communication and consciousness and art can grab me.

because i am now working with a deadline i have to make my day work and then preparing my brain to do my tasks then becomes my work. the stress of not having the cognitive abilities to do simple things, while there is a deadline… can be… well deadly.

first of all the other day i decided to bring on an experienced production manager named sarah. this on the whole was a nice big step toward productivity because once i have downloaded the project into her brain (her expression) then i have another knowledgable problem solver with me. in the past weeks i have tried to set up a volunteer to help me but it ended up being too stressful for my current situation.

so today i have a short list of tasks (financing and creative) and at the moment they are written down on a list and as i’ve been working my way out of my brain hole, some solutions have already come to mind. right now they are fuzzy but i trust they are there. this manoeuver is basically an act of faith. it helps for me to picture the event im working toward, visualize the films looking gorgeous and sounding sharp. and the event going silky smooth and inspiring people.

then i made a picture of how i feel right now. this morning’s picture is called signal interrupted for obvious reasons. and then i decided to write this blog. i feel like i am both parent and toddler. i need to be entertained and distracted and then be ready and focused when my brain is prepped.

i need to stay in the moment and not look at the time. i need to know that i can do this and the pathway i have found through art making and now blogging is the safest way through.

the good thing is that once i can rig jig my brain to be able to do my tasks, i am so focussed that i go through them quickly and deliberately simply. and once i get through the list the relief feels like christmas morning.

i’m going to make some more art to figure out where i am at now. and then i can sneak the work in. i have been at this process figuring out a systematic approach for years now and this is the first larger scale project that i have taken on since getting sick in 2008.

i feel this is the path i will take to get back into full time film production, while it can be a tiring amount of work it actually steam lines things for me. i do think i need a full time volunteer assistant until i can bring someone onboard full time.

yay the ever changing brain,

lisa anita wegner

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