I’m researching the basis of my own loneliness. I’ve never been in a lasting romantic relationship that ends in heartbreak, so why do I relate to songs about these horrible breakups? Through researching music theory and formative psychology about sexuality, I’ve decided that my early exposure to sad music in addition to developments in my own identity, tying that struggle (which often includes long bouts of loneliness and depression) to the development of my own sexuality. In my studio project, I’ll utilize performance art in a drag persona of the songs that have developed those feelings: A Case of You and Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell, and So Far Away by Carole King. Each individual costume, makeup look, and subsequent performance highlights the emotions and times I associate with the song. I was inspired by Rangar Kjartansson’s video/music performance of The Visitors, a video instillation I saw at SFMOMA in which the artist and band play a feminine funeral hymn in a large mansion from different rooms. He’s also known for the brutal duration of his video performances- The Visitors clocks in at a 54 minute video featuring a 29 minute musical piece. His other work, such as Woman in E, which consists of a woman on a gold cake pedestal wearing a gold dress, strumming an E chord on a gold electric guitar highlights the lengths he goes to in order to illustrate his meaning. I’ve visited the Leslie Lohman museum of Gay and Lesbian art for inspiration as well.
Watch clips from Rangar Kjartansson’s work here: