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 night dress may be the icon when it comes to advanced, “proper” woman. Nonetheless, into the slim Skin of Normal wear that is formal developed away from Saran Wrap, pierced with outward pointing, 4″ roofing finger nails. The costume sources that tome of enforced femininity, “The Total Woman”, which suggested ladies regarding the seventies that to help keep their wedding alive, they should greet their husbands, showing up house from a hard days work, during the home, putting on just wrap that is cling. The nails that are long both this notion therefore the surface of this apparel, and motivate the performance text that angrily and ironically confronts the absurdity of gender part definitions.

“2000 several years of patriarchy have actuallyn’t dampened my feeling of design. Whenever I have dressed up in the early early early morning, I’m doing a lot more than covering just 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 Suites we and II explore the lesbian human body as a website of both pleasure and distinction. Lesbianism, defined by wish to have other females, produces the label “homosexual”. During the exact same time, concern with alleged social deviance is played down on queer people in a number of simple and not-so-subtle methods, from isolation to censorship to physical physical physical violence.

Clad in mid-century underwear similar to 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” within the Eaton’s catalogue; the uncertain globe 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 parts of the body I didn’t have, areas of the body therefore powerful they required equipment to help keep them in place. ”

Duration: ten full minutes each

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

Component II first done: 1994, Rumours bar, Halifax, Nova Scotia october

Picture: The Banff Centre


What does a feminist superhero appearance like? Can she leap high structures in a solitary bound? Bend metal along with her hands that are bare? What exactly is her title? And does anybody keep in mind it? In a time ruled by reality celebrity and TV tradition, whenever everybody may be a star, Dempsey wrestles the idea of “super” to your ground. Discover the past reputation for masked avengers and caped crusaders! Hear stories of dazzling educational 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 more than poetry.

“whom could save us now? Given that many people are so busy self-improving, self-constructing, self-promoting? If Superman has time and energy to upgrade their Facebook status, that is vanquishing wicked? If most people are now a star, that is actually super? For choose of a much better response, all i could say is: the smallest amount of in our midst. 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 fighting, the strange or at the least a small various. Simply speaking, it falls to us. They didn’t require superpowers. They were had by them thrust upon them. They rose towards the event. They rose to leotards. And thus must we. ”

Duration: half an hour

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 the summertime of 2007 (40 years following the Summer of like), Dempsey and Millan developed a performance/media that is web-based having a mock freedom-fighting liberation force focused on rampant thoughtfulness, critique and satire. Efficiency performers, when feared, have actually in modern times been overshadowed by nameless, faceless militants! Terrorism is our tradition’s present fear, perhaps maybe maybe not art, perhaps perhaps perhaps not some ideas, maybe perhaps perhaps maybe not day-long happenings with human body liquids! You can forget. Certainly, art and tips have now been overshadowed for too much time!

The vocabulary that is visual of Liberation Army had been encouraged by the iconography of US radicals of the 1960s. Many sets of that period 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 the radical motions are rife with heartbreak, problems of judgment, foolish extremes and tragedy that is bloody. They are filled with brilliant ideologies, inspiring orators, profound collective action, great cultural/artistic achievements and high design.

Maybe perhaps maybe Not unlike a majority of these radicals, Dempsey and Millan had been relocated by an urgent have to cut through the non-stop sound of commercial passions, governmental and business spin, news saturation and fear mongering. Consideration Liberation Army invaded the net: a sits that is overrun with status quo cultural and commercial content. They even ventured in to the world that is real-time insert indications, symbols, tracts and noises made to provoke thoughtfulness, care and action.

The task ended up being unleashed regarding 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 an online site featuring manifestos, video clip communiques, “audio bombs”, stencil packages and a revolutionary hiking trip. Stickers, buttons and graffiti marked general public areas. Utilizing diverse web web web internet sites through the community, like the anarchist that is local and coffeehouse, musician run venues, and downtown areas, CLA created a full world of discussion, and a phase for shock, delight, and thoughtfulness.

Performed: July-September 2007, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Photos by Wiliam Eakin

Mary Medusa

This project started as being a brief performance piece when the Medusa symbol ended up being reconceived as a fruitful, Margaret Thatcher period businesswoman. After that it developed into a lengthier, multi-media performance exploring contemporary feminine icons and concerns of energy (“whom has energy? Do I’ve energy? Where could I get some good? ”).

This piece is certainly one of Dempsey and Millan’s Archetype Performances for which familiar figures examine 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 the female perspective that is contemporary.

“I understand this may shock you, but beneath this demure, feminine outside lurks a dark part. An animal nature in the event that you shall that from time and energy to time slips away. You cannot tell by taking a look at me personally, but it is here. It is sneaky. It is sexy. And it also really wants to let you know about a weightloss program that actually works. ”

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

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 certain performance installation produced 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 memorial. 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, a circular marketing purchase costs, and a mail-in-coupon campaign into the mayor requesting real-life downtown solutions, expanded the discussion concerning the way of metropolitan revitalization in our town.

Duration: 3 days

Performed: August 2002, aceartinc., Winnipeg, Manitoba

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