LILI REYNAUD DEWAR

The Art Issue

Lili Reynaud Dewar works across multiple platforms – performance, mixed-media, and installation – to shine a spotlight on the cultural and political significance in objects, words and ideas.

Lili Reynaud Dewar works across multiple platforms – performance, mixed-media, and installation – to shine a spotlight on the cultural and political significance in objects, words and ideas.

Words by Lili Reynaud Dewar

I’m trying to show vulnerability – my own vulnerability or that of art. To do so, I look for forms, gestures or characters which or whom would not normally be welcome in an art context. Maybe it’s just a strategy to try and do something different and be noticed. In fact, I gave my first performances at a time, although it wasn’t that long ago, when performance art was pushed to the sidelines in the art world (in my art world, anyhow).

Lili Reynaud Dewar

Lili Reynaud Dewar, Black Mariah

 

Unlike today, when performance art is increasingly popular, at the time it made people feel uneasy: they weren’t quite sure how to react. They were expecting very durational performances full of naked women – the embarrassment of performance, which was actually a great thing. Today everyone is in my opinion too comfortable with performance. Maybe it’s some sort of cycle, but performances were seen then as a thing of the past. I remember that when I gave my first performance, we didn’t know whether to call it a ‘happening’ or a ‘performance’. Confronting the audience with this, working with my mother, showing my naked body and doing performances are (or were) all ways for me of ‘doing the wrong thing’.

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