Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lady Terror Re - Imagined

I have been in a re- invention period in my artistic life since I created the character "Lady Terror." Almost three years ago, while attempting to write through a huge case of writer's block, Lady Terror came through. I believe it was a culmination of years of rage and a super pissed off attitude about injustice and oppression that molded Lady Terror. Soon, I was ranting and screaming poetry through a real bullhorn and on a soapbox built just for me. Ranting became the means to solve social problems. The bullhorn became the desperate symbol of voice and empowerment.

I have been writing and performing poetry for over 10 years in the traditional sense. Write poem on paper. Read it on a mic. Sit down. Repeat. I love the simplicity of poetry and pride myself on my ability to express myself through words. But, as I grew as an artist the above ritual became to neat, clean and predictable. I longed for messy and surprising. I really longed for performance, spectacle and theater. I wanted to shake up the day and shine a bright light onto the issues truly destroying my community. To date I have installed the following art spectacles into the community:

1. Poetry reading marathon at Chicago's Largest Parade, Bud Biliken. I read the poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks on a bullhorn for hundreds of passerby's. The lady Terror mission believes that reading and writing poetry is a healing tool that can spark imagination and change. Check some video footage:

2. Created a one night only poetry show i front of liquor stores all over the South Side of Chicago. The South Side, like other inner city communities, are lacking in creative resources. I brought the art to us by setting up small performance venues outside on sidewalks.

3. As part of damali ayo's project "National Day of Panhandling for Reparations" I begged for change for reparations downtown Chicago on State Street. For an entire afternoon I begged for the money due us after 400 years of slavery.

4. Yoga in the hood was one of my favorite stunts. As a protest against the inequalities that exist between white and black communities, I created mini yoga studios in the lobby of fast food establishments.

As I move into the New Year. I am excited about the opportunities for Lady Terror. I'm planning a stunt in honor on MLK, Jr. Birthday Celebration, developing my current one woman show "I Will Not Calm Down" and writing a new one, participating in a Experimental Puppetry Festival, submitting a proposal for a Street Festival with Flux Projects and creating volunteer opportunities to start back collaborating with young people. More soapboxes will be built and more bullhorns screamed through. I'm ranting in 2011. What about you? What are your creative and artistic hopes for the New Year?

2 comments:

Mama VioletAK said...

Definitely more sewing. Baby fascinators and miniature fashionista style on my mind.

Tricia Hersey said...

I know you can't wait to get your hands on the sewing machine.

Artist Statement

I create art for the ones who lost their voice a long time ago. I believe that impromptu spectacles can bring awareness to social justice issues that paralyze our communities. Lady Terror examines the relationship between public space and performance space and also explores ranting as a medium to address social issues and as a tool to empower communities. My art is local and neighborhood specific in its execution but global in its ideas around poverty, injustice and violence.