Monday, 7 March 2016

Gash Dramaturgy: Kayleigh O'Keefe @ Buzzcut

Gash Land exists in the collective imagination of its inhabitants as an external manifestation of the Glorious Leader’s internal life; a collaborative safe space created in response to being slut-shamed at a sexual health clinic.

In new performance ‘#GASHLAND’ the Glorious Leader is joined by Minister of Showing Off (Benjamin Gordon Wilson) and Penetration Officer (Hayley Hare) to give a snapshot of our cuntry’s distinct culture.

RULE #1 OF GASHLAND: ETERNAL ADORATION FOR THE GLORIOUS LEADER.


Can you tell me a little bit about the work that you are bringing to Buzzcut?
I am the Glorious Leader of Gash Land. Gash Land exists in the collective imagination of its inhabitants as an external manifestation of my internal life; a collaborative safe space created in response to being slut-shamed at a sexual health clinic.

Me and two Ministers are cumming to Buzzcut to show the outside world how to have a rayt gudd tyme through the medium of an explosive gashlightening performance timed to my biological clock. I’m going to use my shamanic skillz and powerful womb to feed a fistful of gash culture to the gaping bummorl of the outside world.

How 'typical' is this work compared to other
pieces that you have made? Did the process follow a familiar or new pattern?
Though this work incorporates other Gash Land performances I am working in different ways to adapt to the logistical challenges of performing far from home. Working with less props and scenery means that I am using performance elements in different ways. I tend towards embracing new challenges in working in diverse contexts and am excited to experiment and play with this work at Buzzcut. This is also the first time I have drawn different parts of Gash Land culture together into one piece in such a concentrated way which is really satisfying!

Buzzcut is concerned with the idea of 'community'. Does community have a special meaning for you, and what relationship do you feel your work has within wider communities?
There is a strong sense of community in Gash Land. The cuntry exists in the collective imagination of its inhabitants, with interactions feeding back in to the work. A lot of this activity happens in a social way both online and offline. Citizens report that they feel empowered and safe to be themselves in Gash Land and this is an important part of any community for me.

I find it interesting that people do feel like Gash Land is a safe haven, sometimes, as they’re also at the mercy of the tempestuous weather of my moods and emotions. They’re only allowed to be citizens if they follow the rules which include giving me eternal adoration and nobody being mean to me ever again. 

Gash Land is actually MY safe space and not that habitable for other people, I think. I sometimes wonder if me being vulnerable and raw is what makes the work empowering for them. I’m their Glorious Leader but I’ll cry when a dikk edd breaks my heart or doesn’t wash my dildors after they’ve borrowed them.


What are you hoping that the audience will experience?
I want the audience to learn about Gash Land. To engage with the concept of my imaginary cuntry. To follow the rules. To feel aroused. To feel repulsed. To feel like filthy bastedds, hot fat bitches and chubby-chasers. To feel the connection in contributing to the work via their interactions in this dialogue. To feel empowered. To experience art that leads by example and aims to make the world better by doing better things. I want them to apply for citizenship.

Are there any strategies which you used to direct the audience experience towards this?
Shock and awe.

Kayleigh O’Keefe: Artist Statement

I am Kayleigh O’Keefe: World Famous Artiste, Glorious Leader of Gash Land, Flabzilla and fertility symbol of the modern world.

I use performance and video to create imaginative new spaces for the exploration and assertion of identity and humanity.

I use humour and the absurd to connect with diverse audiences.

I revel in humanity.

I use my fat body to provoke, express and challenge.

I am interested in the cumulative effect of my open nudity and raw physicality.

I deliberately blur the line between my art and my life.

“In a world where art is more a commodity than a site of public engagement and critique, O’Keefe ‘holds our feet to the fire’ (or wherever she’d like them to be) with brilliant humor” – Krissy Mahan, dykeumentary.com, 2015

Biography

Kayleigh O’Keefe is a contemporary artist working in performance, video and film. She was born in Sheffield (1986), received her Bachelor of  Fine Arts Degree from Falmouth College of Arts (2008) and currently lives in London.


She performs, produces and directs live art at festivals, shows and exhibitions. She collaborates and works with other artists, filmmakers and non-professionals. Her films have been screened internationally at arts, queer, niche and mainstream film festivals.

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