First performed: November 1994, University of Winnipeg Students Association, Winnipeg, Manitoba

First performed: November 1994, University of Winnipeg Students Association, Winnipeg, Manitoba

An off-the-shoulder evening dress could be the icon when it comes to advanced, “proper” woman. Nonetheless, into the slim Skin of Normal formal wear is developed away from Saran Wrap, pierced with outward pointing, 4″ roofing finger finger nails. The costume sources that tome of enforced femininity, “The Total Woman”, which encouraged ladies associated with seventies that to help keep their wedding alive, they should greet their husbands, showing up house from a difficult days work, during the home, using just wrap that is cling. The nails that are long both this notion therefore the area of this apparel, and encourage the performance text that angrily and ironically confronts the absurdity of sex part definitions.

“2000 several years of patriarchy have actuallyn’t dampened my feeling of design. Whenever I have dressed up in the morning, I’m doing significantly more than covering only a little initial sin. ”

The Dress: cling wrap, roofing finger finger nails, packing tape, zipper

Duration: ten full minutes

First done: 1993, West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba october

Growing Up Suites

Growing Up rooms we and II explore the body that is lesbian a website of both pleasure and huge difference. Lesbianism, defined by desire to have other females, produces the label “homosexual”. In the exact same time, anxiety about alleged social deviance is played down on queer people in many different subdued and not-so-subtle means, from isolation to censorship to physical physical violence.

Clad in mid-century underwear reminiscent of architecture just as much as erotica, Dempsey recounts the secrets, discomforts and delights based in the taboo subject of youth sex. These tales tell stories of growing up lesbian: the attraction of sleepovers; the frisson of “unmentionables” into the Eaton’s catalogue; the uncertain world from many years five to fifteen, marked by equal components wonder and confusion.

“Ten pages of underwear that resembled architecture, covered in buckles and zippers and snaps! Industrial strength underwear concealing areas of the body I didn’t have, parts of the body therefore powerful they required equipment to help keep them set up. ”

Duration: ten full minutes each

Component we first performed: March 1994, Le Lion D’Or, Montreal, Quebec

Component II first done: October 1994, Rumours club, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Photo: The Banff Centre


What does a feminist superhero appearance like? Can she leap high structures in a solitary bound? Bend metal together with her bare arms? What exactly is her title? And does anybody keep in mind it? In a period ruled by truth celebrity and TV tradition, whenever everybody else could be a star, Dempsey wrestles the thought of “super” into the ground. Discover the reputation for masked avengers and caped crusaders! Hear stories of dazzling scholastic prowess! Be surprised by an aging, spandex-clad superhero and her change ego, an untenured women’s studies teacher. Each executes astonishing feats of bravery armed with little to no more than poetry.

“whom will save you us now? Given that everybody is so busy self-improving, self-constructing, self-promoting? If Superman has time for you update their Facebook status, that is vanquishing wicked? If many people are now a star, that is actually super? All i can say is: the least among us for want of a better answer. The Clark Kents, the Peter Parkers. The unassuming, unambitious, the underpaid, the worried, the fine meaning, the homely, the lonely, the goat, the square, the drone, the also-ran, the struggling, the strange or at the very least only a little various. In a nutshell, it falls to us. They didn’t require superpowers. They had them thrust upon them. They rose to your event. They rose to leotards. And thus must we. ”

Duration: thirty minutes

First performed: May 2008, rt Building Community Symposium, Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art, Winnipeg Manitoba

Photos by Lorri Millan and Janet Shum

Consideration Liberation Army

In summer time of 2007 (40 years following the Summer of adore), Dempsey and Millan created a web-based performance/media piece having a mock freedom-fighting liberation force aimed at rampant thoughtfulness, critique and satire. Efficiency designers, when feared, have actually in the last few years been overshadowed by nameless, faceless militants! Terrorism is our tradition’s present fear, maybe perhaps not art, perhaps maybe maybe perhaps not tips, maybe perhaps not day-long happenings with human body fluids! No longer. Certainly, art and tips have now been overshadowed for too much time!

The visual language of Consideration Liberation Army ended up being motivated by the iconography of US radicals of the 1960s. Numerous sets of that age combined flamboyance, militancy, and eloquence to push democratic and social reform ahead (the elements Underground, pupils for a Democratic Society, the Ebony Panthers, etc.). The records of those radical motions are rife with heartbreak, problems of judgment, silly extremes and bloody tragedy. They are full of brilliant ideologies, inspiring orators, profound collective action, great cultural/artistic achievements and high design.

Perhaps perhaps maybe maybe Not unlike a number of these radicals, Dempsey and Millan had been relocated by an need that is urgent cut through the non-stop sound of commercial passions, governmental and business spin, news saturation and fear mongering. Consideration Liberation Army invaded the internet: a sits this is certainly overrun with status quo cultural and content that is commercial. In addition they ventured in to the real-time globe to insert indications, symbols, tracts and noises made to provoke thoughtfulness, care and action.

The task had been unleashed from the public in Winnipeg on 1, 2007, and continued until September, resulting in The Summer of Thought july. The artistic/political “cell” gained recognition, energy and legitimacy through a site featuring manifestos, video clip communiques, “audio bombs”, stencil packages and a revolutionary hiking trip. Stickers, buttons and graffiti marked spaces that are public. Utilizing diverse web web web sites for the community, for instance the neighborhood anarchist bookstore and coffeehouse, musician run venues, and downtown places, CLA created a full world of discussion, and a phase for shock, pleasure, and thoughtfulness.

Performed: July-September 2007, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Photos by Wiliam Eakin

Mary Medusa

This task started being a short performance piece where the Medusa symbol ended up being reconceived as an effective, Margaret Thatcher age businesswoman. After that it developed into a lengthier, multi-media performance exploring contemporary female icons and concerns of energy (“whom has energy? Do I have power? Where may I find some? ”).

This piece is certainly one of Dempsey and Millan’s Archetype Performances in which characters that are familiar the classes and pictures through the tales, fables and codes which have shaped us. Dempsey and Millan subvert these icons accepted definitions and re-tell their stories from a contemporary feminine perspective.

“I’m sure this could shock you, but beneath this demure, feminine outside lurks a side that is dark. An animal nature in the event that you shall that from time to time slips away. You cannot inform by taking a look at me personally, but it is here. It really is sneaky. It is sexy. Also it would like to let you know about a weightloss routine that actually works. ”

Duration: quick variation five full minutes; long variation 40 mins

Quick variation first done: January 1992, Winnipeg memorial, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Longer variation first performed: 1993, Festival du Voyeur, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Winnipeg, Manitoba february

Photos by Lorri Millan

Grocery Store

Grocery shop ended up being a niche site particular performance installation manufactured by The Co-Op Collective: Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan, jake moore and Zab. For three months in August 2002, it offered meals and meals for idea in downtown Winnipeg’s Ace Art Gallery. The installation (a operating food shop staffed by Dempsey and Millan) offered over $5000 worth of food, and important conditions unavailable in Winnipeg’s core. Radio ads, an advertising that is circular costs, and a mail-in-coupon campaign to your mayor requesting real-life downtown solutions, expanded the discussion concerning the way of urban revitalization within our town.

Duration: 3 months

Performed: 2002, aceartinc. August, Winnipeg, Manitoba

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