In the initial months of this project, I talked to Carron Little, performance artist, curator, painter, writer, composer about her work. This upcoming week, she will be performing as Queen of Luxuria in LOVE over MONEY at Buttercup Park Uptown at 4901 N. Sheridan from 2 to 4 on Saturday July 18th.
The following week marks the beginning of performance art series Out of Site 2015, curated by Carron Little. In its fifth year, Out of Site is a public performance art series where performers from all over Chicago and the world will be performing for the next couple months in public spaces. It’s a truly magnificent series. The first performances are Sheryl Oring’s “I Wish to Say” and Ballenarca on July 25th from 1 -4 at Milwaukee and Evergreen. Duff Norris will perform “The Wisdom Box” from 5 to 6 on July 25th as one of the first performances for the Wicker Park Fest.
Check out more information here: http://outofsitechicago.org/
I asked Carron Little about her Queen of Luxuria. She said, “So my persona of Queen of Luxuria… I created a performance at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London... I was thinking about how I've really been inspired by people like Leigh Bowery and Quentin Crisp and queer icons in British culture. I’ve been thinking about my own upbringing and thinking about how one can represent those aesthetics...Every year we would watch Quentin Crisp’s address to the nation because he would always do a queen version, It was always hilarious. We would have like queer balls that we were always getting dressed up….
“So my mom was a lesbian feminist, so I got exposed to a lot of feminist theory and thinking.. So the Queen of Luxuria is really about embodying the queer, and really deconstructing notions of power, but also celebrating being a women and being like: ‘Yeah, I have breasts. I have nipples and they're fabulous.’ And it's also kind of a piss take of every female artist who's ever being celebrated within western culture has always been nude like: Marina Abramović and Cindy Sherman, Helen Chadwick, even actually Rebecca Horn. There's these women who become these so called masters end up representing what men want women to be and become objects in the process…”
I asked her about if and how gender played a role in her work. Carron Little told me, “Yeah, I remember actually a conversation I had with this woman in the group of artists while growing up. She asked me: ‘Carron, are you a woman first or an artist first?’ And she was 40 and I was 18 or 19 at the time. I said, ‘Oh, I'm an artist.’ And if I was to ask myself that question again, I am an artist first, but being a woman is really important part of that. I was just quoting this article by Jerry Saltz in Vulture last week that lays out the statistics of women ads in the Art Forum in this (2014) September month's issue from New York. So out of 73 full page ads, only 11 were for women solo shows and that it equates to 15 percent.
“But a natural fact, the amount of solo exhibitions of women in the New York galleries right now is 25 percent. The Art Forum ads are down from last year. So it is vital that I just have to think about things like that. It fills me with so much fire and determination to change that situation. I can't do it on my own, but I'm really interested in making work that challenges the norm and does speak about the inequalities and the injustices. I think in terms of the piece Unto Each Their Own Safe + More, which I did in the bank last year, that piece to me is really making a comment about the inequality of salaries that women are given. I've just been researching the fact that in Britain, women under the age of 25 are getting 93.2 percent in regards to male salaries; whereas woman over the age of 55, their salaries are 75 percent compared to men. Here I think the situation is worse in America because women get 76 cents to the dollar. It puzzles me that inequality exists. It just seems so bizarre, but then you just look at where we've come over the last hundred years and we've come a long way, but we still have more to go.”
So check out LOVE over MONEY at Buttercup Park Uptown and meet Queen of Luxuria. Also, check out all the incredible artists of Out of Site starting July 25th.
Check out Carron Little’s website here: http://carronlittle.com/
Check out the website for Out of Site: http://outofsitechicago.org/
Image: Courtesy of Carron Little