There was many insightful points Michelle brought to here lecture. Three that interested me about her and her works, were decolonization, rhetoric, and voice. I respected the way she used her own heritage to create a voice for other people, similar to where her family originated. There are many worldly concerns that are left unaddressed, especially from one scene of invasion to the other. How do they relate, there should have been no cause for this type violence. The giving up of heritage identity to assume the role of a new identity. How much is lost? Will it return? Will we forget? Memories were an important topic of her lecture. How these memories would reflect what is forgotten when assuming a new identity. How we are tied to memories through our family and the generations that proceed. Remembering is important, as this is part of a point I attempt to make when making statements in my work about Remembering Can Prevent. Work I am more excited about creating after Michelle Dizon's lecture last night. If we remember all the bad and horrible actions and reactions we have made as a species, all the wars, cruel beatings, the unjustified killings, the destruction, the conquering, the segregation, all that are part of all of our history, then we can commit to preventing it to repeat itself. Which the sad truth is that we are still struggling with these problems today. There also needs to be acceptance for agreement and respectable disagreement as we will not always agree, and such is why have experienced these issues, because we can be too strong headed in our ideas and beliefs that we feel the need to push them on everyone else until they accept them or be outcasted, possibly destroyed. I can easily continue to rant, though how much will it be effective. Society can easily turn their heads away from the rants of better ways that one can hear being preached on a city corner daily. How do we make our points civilly acceptable and accessible for all of the public. How do we broadcast these sensitive issues that will be appealing enough for the those who wish not to bother with the issues at all? Research, visual truth and being rhetorical in our art making - as shocking as it may take to make the voice that everyone will respond to. It is an ongoing project that may take lifetimes to complete as it has already taken many to cause the destruction that we are now to fix.
Joby Downs is an up and rising performance artist from Hollywood, California who was discovered this last year after his airtime on America's Got Talent. Since then he has been invited to show at a variety of venues in New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Los Angeles. His work focuses on psychotic phenomena and left the critics in New York claiming him to be an untamed, raw, exhilarating mix of naked talent.
The original identity and origin of Downs is not disclosed. There are vague details of his history given as he fears that it could jeopardize his safety, He was abandoned as an infant and left to be raised by vagabonds who later sold him to a circus as a sideshow act in his early adolescence. He found his escape in the early 1990's while in Los Angeles as part of a world tour. He has since made his survival in Hollywood by way of street performance and prostitution, and just recently this year as an artist.
His current works reflect the memories he wishes he could repress, but feels he must bring awareness to the public in hope to save the next child from the vicious cycles of circus slavery. He looks to his art as a cleansing process and hopes to wash away all the "yuck" in the world. There is much thought and preparation given in the set up and choreography, although in order to keep its originality it is only performed once. Downs specifically does not rehearse his performances and his videos are done in one single shot without editing. His work created from his performances are available for sale through auction, as well as limited copies of the videos in which he restricts from the internet. Proceeds of sales go to the P.S.Y.C.K.O.T.I.C.C. Fund (Please Save Your Children Kept Oppressed Through Indecent Circus Clowns Fund), founded by Downs in 2014.
His influences include Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, MTV, and Dan Dunn.
Big Fan here! You will see him in my artists section soon. I enjoyed his lecture, and mostly the circle chat outside the lecture after. I was familiar with his work earlier and was excited to be reintroduced, as it has been more inspiring the second time as I begin seeing the influence in my own work. Influences I found inspiring were the "Almost" process and creating the anxiety of viewer anticipating something to happen. Also the construction and deconstruction and then recreating it but different. Mostly there is art in the performance of the progress as well as the result.