First performed: November 1994, University of Winnipeg Students Association, Winnipeg, Manitoba

First performed: November 1994, University of Winnipeg Students Association, Winnipeg, Manitoba

An off-the-shoulder night dress may be the expression for the advanced, “proper” woman. Nonetheless, within the slim Skin of Normal formal wear is produced away from Saran Wrap, pierced with outward pointing, 4″ roofing finger finger finger nails. The costume sources that tome of enforced femininity, “The Total Woman”, which recommended ladies of this seventies that to help keep their wedding alive, they should greet their husbands, showing up house from a difficult days work, during the home, putting on just cling place. The nails that are long both this notion while the area regarding the apparel, and motivate the performance text that angrily and ironically confronts the absurdity of sex part definitions.

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“2000 many years of patriarchy have actuallyn’t dampened my feeling of design. Once I have dressed up in the early morning, I’m doing significantly more than covering only a little original sin. ”

The Dress: cling wrap, roofing finger finger nails, packing tape, zipper

Duration: ten full minutes

First done: October 1993, Western End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Growing Up Suites

Growing Up rooms we and II explore the body that is lesbian a website of both pleasure and huge difference. Lesbianism, defined by wish to have other ladies, produces the label “homosexual”. During the time that is same concern with alleged social deviance is played down on queer people in a number of simple and not-so-subtle means, from isolation to censorship to physical physical violence.

Clad in mid-century underwear similar to architecture just as much as erotica, Dempsey recounts the secrets, discomforts and delights based in the taboo subject of youth sexuality. These tales tell stories of growing up lesbian: the attraction of sleepovers; the frisson of “unmentionables” into the Eaton’s catalogue; the world that is uncertain ages five to fifteen, marked by equal components wonder and confusion.

“Ten pages of underwear that resembled architecture, covered in buckles and zippers and snaps! Industrial strength underwear concealing areas of the body I didn’t have, parts of the body therefore powerful they required equipment to help keep them set up. ”

Duration: ten full minutes each

Component we first performed: March 1994, Le Lion D’Or, Montreal, Quebec

Component II first done: 1994, Rumours bar, Halifax, Nova Scotia october

Picture: The Banff Centre


What does a superhero that is feminist like? Can she leap high structures in a solitary bound? Bend metal along with her hands that are bare? What’s her title? And does anybody keep in mind it? In a time ruled by truth celebrity and TV tradition, whenever every person could be a star, Dempsey wrestles the thought of “super” into the ground. Discover the reputation for masked avengers and caped crusaders! Hear stories of dazzling prowess that is academic! Be surprised by an aging, spandex-clad superhero and her change ego, an untenured women’s studies teacher. Each performs astonishing feats of bravery armed with little to no more than poetry.

“whom could save us now? Given that everybody is so self-improving that is busy self-constructing, self-promoting? If Superman has time and energy to upgrade their Facebook status, that is vanquishing wicked? If most people are now a star, that is really super? For intend of a far better response, all I’m able to say is: the smallest amount of in our midst. The Clark Kents, the Peter Parkers. The unassuming, unambitious, the underpaid, the worried, the fine meaning, the homely, the lonely, the goat, the square, the drone, the also-ran, the fighting, the strange or at the very least a small various. In a nutshell, it falls to us. They didn’t require superpowers. They had them thrust upon them. They rose towards the event. They rose to leotards. So must we. ”

Duration: thirty minutes

First performed: May 2008, rt Building Community Symposium, Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art, Winnipeg Manitoba

Photos by Lorri Millan and Janet Shum

Consideration Liberation Army

In the summertime of 2007 (40 years following the Summer of appreciate), Dempsey and Millan developed a performance/media that is web-based featuring a mock freedom-fighting liberation force focused on rampant thoughtfulness, critique and satire. Efficiency performers, when feared, have in the last few years been overshadowed by nameless, faceless militants! Terrorism is our tradition’s present fear, perhaps not art, perhaps maybe maybe perhaps not some ideas, maybe not day-long happenings with human body liquids! You can forget. Certainly, art and tips have now been overshadowed for too much time!

The vocabulary that is visual of Liberation Army had been encouraged by the iconography of US radicals of the 1960s. Numerous categories of that period combined flamboyance, militancy, and eloquence to push democratic and social reform ahead (the elements Underground, pupils for a Democratic Society, the Ebony Panthers, etc.). The records among these radical motions are rife with heartbreak, problems of judgment, silly extremes and bloody tragedy. Also, they are full of brilliant ideologies, inspiring orators, profound collective action, great cultural/artistic achievements and high design.

Maybe maybe maybe Not unlike a majority of these radicals, Dempsey and Millan had been relocated by an urgent have to cut through the non-stop sound of commercial passions, governmental and business spin, news saturation and fear mongering. Consideration Liberation Army invaded the net: a sits that is overrun with status quo cultural and content that is commercial. Additionally they ventured to the world that is real-time insert indications, symbols, tracts and noises made to provoke thoughtfulness, care and action.

The task had been unleashed from the public in Winnipeg on 1, 2007, and continued until September, resulting in The Summer of Thought july. The artistic/political “cell” gained recognition, energy and legitimacy through a web page featuring manifestos, video clip communiques, “audio bombs”, stencil packages and a walking tour that is revolutionary. Stickers, buttons and graffiti marked public areas. Utilizing diverse web internet sites for the community, for instance the anarchist that is local and coffeehouse, musician run venues, and downtown places, CLA created a world of discussion, and a phase for shock, pleasure, and thoughtfulness.

Performed: July-September 2007, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Photos by Wiliam Eakin

Mary Medusa

This task started being a performance that is short where the Medusa symbol ended up being reconceived as a fruitful, Margaret Thatcher period businesswoman. After that it developed into a lengthier, multi-media performance exploring contemporary icons that are female concerns of power (“whom has energy? Do I have energy? Where may I acquire some? ”).

This piece is regarded as Dempsey and Millan’s Archetype Performances for which familiar figures examine the classes and pictures through the tales, urban myths and codes which have shaped us. Dempsey and Millan subvert these icons accepted definitions and re-tell their stories from a contemporary feminine perspective.

“I’m sure this may shock you, but beneath this demure, feminine outside lurks a side that is dark. An animal nature in the event that you shall that from time and energy to time slips away. You cannot inform by taking a look at me personally, but it is here. It is sneaky. It really is sexy. And it also really wants to let you know about a weightloss routine that actually works. ”

Duration: brief variation five minutes; long variation 40 mins

Brief variation first done: January 1992, Winnipeg memorial, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Longer variation first performed: 1993, Festival du Voyeur, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Winnipeg, Manitoba february

Photos by Lorri Millan

Grocery Store

Grocery shop had been a niche site performance that is specific produced by The Co-Op Collective: Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan, jake moore and Zab. For three months in August 2002, it supplied food and meals for thought in downtown Winnipeg’s Ace memorial. The installation (a food that is functioning staffed by Dempsey and Millan) offered over $5000 worth of food, and crucial conditions unavailable in Winnipeg’s core. Radio ads, a circular marketing purchase rates, and a mail-in-coupon campaign towards the mayor requesting real-life downtown solutions, expanded the discussion in regards to the way of urban revitalization within our town.

Duration: 3 days

Performed: 2002, aceartinc. August, Winnipeg, Manitoba

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