Anni interviewed Eo
A: Lets talk about your new work titled, “Being Liberal is not enough” presented at our art center next week. Could you explain what the work is.
E: It is a 12-minute performance featuring 6 women with an accompanying sound track made by myself and Daniel Fogerty with an improvisational DIY “Jam” feel. The sound’s rhythm is important to the participants who will move together sometimes following strict choreography and at other times will improvise.
A: Please talk about the materiality and performativity of the costume?
E: The costume is a multicolored cotton hexagon, both garment and banner inspired by the color wheel and Gay Pride flag. The fabric also has 12 emblems consisting of fictional and nonfictional symbols embroidered onto it. There is a neck hole for each participant who fixes themselves into the shape via a zipper. The hexagon borrows aesthetics from folk dance, utopian cults and religious costume.
In terms of the choreography, the piece starts with 2 people attached to the wall by the hanging costume. The music starts and they pull down the hexagon onto the floor. The other performers complete the hexagon and begin concertinaed movements which both reveal and shadow the embroidered emblems. At times performers become entangled entering a mood of danger from the fabric’s proximity to their necks.
E: At the end of the performance other people are invited to be in the hexagon. The performers hold out their hands pulling people into its center, creating a concrete barricade of movement.
A: Why did you make this work?
E: I have been channeling an aesthetic language present in the early feminist historical work 'The Dinner Party', by Judy Chicago. Combining this reference alongside a desire for a work that could contain procession, protest and dualistic belief and look at everyday performative hybrids that surround such practices.
A: So is this piece about Pluralism?
E: In terms of the belief systems depicted on the costume, yes. Value-Pluralism more specifically in that several values may be equally correct and fundamental existing with a person, and yet in conflict with each other or in terms of an objective ordering of importance. A horizontal plain is also present in the flatness of the textile.
A: What is your standpoint in relation to the friction of these believe systems?
E: My standpoint is observational. We are living in a world of cultural appropriations. I have been looking at how we live together and effect each other. How ideologies build in our minds. How people don’t vote and don’t feel an affinity to things linked to a kind of nothingness or a not knowing where to place oneself.
A: Is it about being confused together?
E: The A political. Knowing what to do. When to act and how. Thinking about how one situation effects another. Be it bodies in space, within say the occupy movement, or online anarchy, aid and action. The work operates on a bodily level looking at borrowing codes of the protest, physical bodies standing next to each other, under banners, moving together.
A: I’m wondering about this question of knowing or not knowing. Often the things that are happening in the world are so complex that you feel a bit helpless, in whether you understand anything about them or not. So that might function as a kind of block for doing, because you feel that you can’t do anything because you don’t have enough knowledge. About that question of whether or not to protest if you don’t feel comfortable with your level of knowledge. Is this piece maybe proposing that you should protest, or go out there anyway?
E: It is more a reflection of such questions.
A: Do you see this piece being taken elsewhere from perhaps an art specific context?
E: It can work well walking through any space, but where you pull the banner down from changes the work’s reception. It is the same gesture as if you pulled down a flag. It is important to consider where the work is to be originally hung in order for an emphasize to be placed upon the object being disassembled and relocated. It is intended to be a deliberately disobedient object.