intimacy and distance, virtual and reality. analog and digital. what’s lost or gained in the transformation? endless photos and no touching. at the opening of two americans offshore at westpol a.i.r.space i did a performance piece using a deck of karma sutra playing cards. people picked a card from a fanned deck i held facedown. then they showed it to me. i did the female version of the sexual position on my mattress while they shot my photo. then they did the male version on theirs while i shot them. these images were printed out and placed on the beds for the installation.
now, 2 years on, i’m taking the performance to the next level. i’ll be part of the .GIF arts festival at Coaxial in LA on Sat 18 June. this time there will be even more distance between me and my participants….an ocean and 7 time zones. i’ll be live streaming from 8PM LA time and 4AM German time. that means we’ll be creating movement live. Check it out on YOU NOW.
special thank you to my sponsor studio 44 where i’ll be live streaming from.
Sunday Pam was at the market. I didn’t really know what to expect. After all Pam is usually a very personal experience between me, whoever is in the photo and pam…before it goes online. Then i really don’t know anything more than the likes and/or comments give me. Maybe people see it. Maybe they don’t. And that’s ok because the experience I have with the people directly is precious in a different way from the research she is enabling me to conduct. Sunday at the Market was the first time for her to be seen in a public arena and for me to see public reaction. And when I say public, I don’t mean people in a gallery setting that are used to media art. I mean a nice cross section of the general public.
There she was on a 4 meter wide screen in front of 3000 people!
What I saw were smiles. Some were smiles of recognition. They saw themselves. They knew the work was about them. Some smiled cause she’s cute and kinda crazy. They weren’t really plugged into the online thing, but loved her just for who she is. I had some very good conversations about her and about art in general. i met some great new people. I am so pleased and happy to have been asked to participate. Thank you Täubschenthal!
are you ready for #instapam? sunday, 14 june will be the first time you can get these one of a kind 10×10 alubond pam instagram pics. there will only be one printed in this size ever! which one do you want? also available by post. Täubchenthal
I was very happy to be asked to create a film with foreign teens who have recently come to Germany. Most have come here seeking asylum because there is war in their homeland. I can only begin to imagine what they must be feeling. I know I can relate to being uprooted in your teens. At 14 I moved from the city to the country and it was a hard transition. Before that I was just beginning to know how I fit within my community. I was on the student council. I was in the choir. I had good friends. I made friends in the new place as well, but also attracted enemies. I made mistakes I didn’t even know I was making. The people were different. The food was different. Clothes were different. They shared a history I was new to. They knew nothing of mine. I asked the teens who are new here what they wanted out of life. I asked what they liked to do, where they like to go. I was curious to see what they liked about their new environment and what was radically different. I wanted to give them a voice. When I was a teen I had been given none.
For artists like me who rarely make anything to hang on a wall, it’s hard to realise work at times. We have the ideas, but they have to have a place to take place. It is only with help that I can make it happen. Thanks very much to WESTBESUCH for bringing open duet live cube to life. Westbesuch hosts a street festival that takes place in Plagwitz, the western area of Leipzig, Germany. This part of town is known for being the art center. You have probably read about it in the New York Times or London’s The Times as somewhere you must go. In the former GDR people with relatives in the west would wait excitedly for a westpacket ( a goodie parcel ), hence the name of the fall street festival. It’s a combination of flea-market, boot sale, handmade goods and more. There is music and dance representing Leipzig’s growing multi-national flavour. Lots of people and lots of smiles. This fall they are adding a new dynamic. They are adding an art fair with high quality works from the local artist community. There will be a wide variety of works on offer and a silent auction. I am very honoured to be able to show my installation of the videos I made at the last Westbesuch last June where I invited volunteers to come into a 2 meter cube to do trust exercises. They had no idea what we were going to do beforehand. It was intriguing to see how the exercises affected them. I am equally intrigued to see how the installation will be received.
Some never before exhibited works will be ready for you to come see them at the ARTspace booth in art copenhagen. it’s been a long time since any of my work has been in copenhagen and i’m quite excited to have it there as the city is quite dear to me. at least one of the works was directly inspired by my experiences there. of the 4 works, 3 include a hand-written note of why i felt i had to make the piece. the works were all completed since 2004 and are autobiographical in nature. ode to scream maeshelle west-davies 2006 acrylic on metal plate…accompanied with a hand-written letter from the artist 45.5 x 36 x 10 650€ art space booth 012 art copenhagen
anything you can do there i can do here performance piece by maeshelle west-davies documented by ola marty
As part of Dance Anywhere I created a performance piece based on modern day society. Teens have danced in their rooms forever. When television was introduced, they had new models to follow: American Bandstand, Soul Train and MTV opened up alternate ways of moving. Today we have youtube and smartphones. Do we need to stay in the bedroom? Do we have to be teens? What we did in the privacy of our bedrooms used to be private. Teens would share secrets there. They would talk for hours in person or on the phone. With the arrival of the internet, many now share their secrets with the world, not knowing if who, if anyone, is watching. Invited guests came to my studio to dance together or to participate online. Many had not met before and a couple hadn’t met me. ANYTHING YOU CAN DO THERE I CAN DO HERE explored this shift in the blurring of real and virtual space and the discrepancy between quality and quantity we find online. It also revealed how movement in intimate settings can break down barriers and improve or create bonding. I’m still friends with the people I met that night. The piece was live streamed Friday 22 March noon SF, 3pm NYC, 8pm Rome & Paris 2013. I am very pleased to have had Weimar-based film maker Ola Marty shooting the performance
For the past year and a half, I’ve been creating installations using pink shoes.The newest piece is „alone we fall“. It is comprised of panels can not stand alone, but form a protective wall when connected. In the current configuration it measures 1.6 meters x 3 meters. I created the installation, but I didn’t do it alone. Those who donated the shoes to Pink Shoe Day painted them themselves. Pink Shoe Day is collecting 70,000 shoes to raise awareness. Each person who learns what the number 70,000 signifies, activates a network of more informed people who can do something proactive to reverse the rising trend of those diagnosed with breast cancer each year in Germany.
As „Alone We Fall“ shows, one person can not do it alone. We have to stand together. We have to arm ourselves. We have to open dialogue and break taboos. Early detection is key. Hausleben, the charity behind Pink Shoe Day, offers one time courses in MamaCare to teach how to perform self-exams correctly. They also offer programs for cancer patients and their families including thai chi, art therapy, coffee mornings.
The official Pink Shoe Day is 11 October and A LOT more shoes are needed. Please send yours with a donation to……http://www.pink-shoe-day.de/
you may remember open duet. now i’m taking it one step further with a live interactive cube at westbesuch. westbesuch is a street festival that happens several times a year in leipzig, germany and draws around 3,000 people. i don’t want to give too much away at this point….just be there if you’re in town. if you aren’t, watch this space.
Each year 70,000 are diagnosed with breast cancer in Germany. That number is so high that it is unfathomable. Dr Luisa Mantovani-Löffler wan.ted to change that so she came up with the idea of collecting 70,000 shoes. People paint them pink and donate them, along with a contribution for Hausleben. That translates into House of Life. It is place dedicated to improving the quality of life for patients and their families.
I have the honour of making installations with the donated shoes. community, the first of my mobile installations, will open at Barmer GEK Thur 17 June. On the same day the latest piece, entitled “quilt” will travel to it’s first destination in Berlin.