Culture365 Q&A with Continuum's Julia Wallace

Submitted by FreshArts on Tue, Aug 23rd at 5:50 pm

Hello everyone! This Friday, August 26th marks the opening of the first ever performance art-based exhibition in our ARC Gallery. Created by Continuum, a new performance art group in town, iPerform is an exhibition that will showcase work that has been developed over the past several months in and outside of the group's Performance Art Workshops. We interviewed the group’s head honcho Julia Wallace to get insight into her artistic process and what makes a performance artist tick.

 

Q

Tell us a little bit about yourself in relation to your art form, Julia. How did you get into performance art?

 Julia Wallace

A

I was introduced to performance art by Elia Arce at the University of Houston. I was absolutely scared to death. In fact, I dropped it due to immense fear of my first assignment, which I could not bring myself to complete, even after sneaking a shot of whiskey on the way to class. I got brave and took it the next semester and my life was never the same. Through performance art I learned how to live.

 

Q

Tell us a little bit about your artistic process. Where do you get your ideas? How and when do you manifest those ideas?

 

A

For my first performance art piece I thought I had discovered the key to creating: Do the thing you are absolutely the most scared of doing. I still think this is a fabulous way to create, perhaps the most rewarding, but unfortunately I don’t always have the stomach for it. Now, I usually just sit and listen and listen to myself and then eventually, Poof! a seemingly ridiculous idea pops into my head. Usually it doesn’t make too much sense at the time, it just feels very right. Six months or so after I have created it, it becomes very obvious that I did the exact right thing. I create art in order to grow as a person. It is always a therapeutic experience in some way or another. I think my ideas come from deep down in the murky subconscious (mine or ours). My consciousness catches up eventually. I manifest my ideas whenever time, inspiration, energy and the universe all align perfectly. I wish it happened more often. Fortunately I think a lot of people get the same ideas I do, so if I don’t get to it in a timely manner, they do it for me!

 

Q

What is Continuum, who is involved, and how did the group get started?

 

A

Continuum is a group of Performance Artists. We create together, helping each other make ideas happen, experimentingContinuum with each other, encouraging each other and giving others opportunities to experiment with performance art in a safe and encouraging environment.  Continuum was born out of a Performance Art Workshop that I facilitated in April at the Jenner House. After getting such a positive and creative group of artists got together, it became apparent that this group was meant for much more than my four session workshop, so we decided to move forward as Continuum. Anyone is welcome to come in and out so lots of people have been a part of Continuum, but currently the artists involved are Meghan Carey, Bryce Galbraith, Koomah, Jonatan Lopez, Raindawg, Hilary Scullane, Christine Cook, Emily Sloan, Eric Ling, Sway Youngston and me! [photo: Asweep, a performance by Emily Sloan, facilitated by Continuum, photo courtesy of Matthew Marand]

 

Q

Continuum’s show iPerform at Spacetaker’s ARC Gallery is coming up on Friday, August 26th. What are you looking forward to most about the show and what can visitors expect?

 

A

I can’t wait to see the performances of the members of Continuum! I have been watching these artists grow, and I can’t wait to see them sharing themselves for a wider audience. I love all of the members of the group, and I know that they are going to be really sharing from the heart, and seeing their sincerity and growth displayed will be beautiful. I am also really looking forward to the workshops. Creating intimately with a small group of people is really a thrilling experience, and I know I will learn a lot! [note from Spacetaker: you can read brief descriptions of each performance element on the show's event page here.]

 

Q

What is it about performance art that you love?

 

A

I could go on forever. Performance art gives me a reason to do something simply because I feel like it, and that has shown me that the urges and impulses that we have are here for a reason. When you follow them, they take you exactly where you need to go.

 

Q

What is the wildest thing you’ve ever done?Julia Wallace and her baby

 

A

I had a baby! All natural! It was definitely wilder than all of the performances I have done, including the ones where I was masturbating on stage, in class, and in the bathroom at Notsuoh. It was EVEN WILDER than showing myself giving a blowjob at Spacetaker’s Artist Speakeasy or hiding pictures of my [nether regions*] on construction sites. It is interesting though, even though so many of my sexual performances seem wild, they don’t feel wild to me. I suppose I am being rebellious towards the fear of sex in our culture, but all of these actions have been sincere steps of personal growth. To me they feel like pure and righteous acts of investigation.

 

Q

Anything else you’d like to share?

 

A

I just want to encourage anyone shy or intimidated out there to come give it a try! Performance art can be almost anything you want it to be, and we would love to give you the opportunity to share things that you never have had a chance to share before. Continuum is just about the nicest group of people in the world and this is a wonderful opportunity to transcend, to grow and to heal.

 

 

Continuum’s iPerform opens Friday, August 26th with a public reception/performance from 7 - 10 PM at Spacetaker’s ARC Gallery. We’re really excited to see what live performance elements they feature and to see how the audience interacts or reacts to the show. One thing is certain though: parental discretion is advised.

 

In addition to the opening reception performances, Continuum will host three free performance art workshops where participants will be a part of an encouraging and safe atmosphere in which they can explore themselves through the medium of performance.

Performance Art Workshop #1: Monday, August 29, 7 – 10 p.m.

Performance Art Workshop #2: Monday, September 5, 7 – 10 p.m.

Performance Art Workshop #3: Monday, September 12, 7 – 10 p.m.

 

On Friday, September 16th from 7 – 10 PM, the exhibition will culminate in a closing night showcase of the work that has been developed during the workshops.

 

Visit the iPerform event page in our Culture Guide calendar for more information about the show.

 

 

 *we aren't supporters of censorship, but there's just something about the p-word that makes us a bit squeamish! is that wrong?

 

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