A conversation with Kimvi about live-art, honest work…


Whilst Julia browsed the university library, I took a call from Kimvi and we discussed many things. The context was having ‘a bad day’. In that case, I’m grateful that Kimvi took the opportunity to call me, and in the process lift my spirits as well. Connection. Honesty. Reflection. Kimvi tucked into a plate of cold chicken as we spoke and I’m not entirely sure if this was multi-tasking or rather a modern equivalent of a sit down dinner over which to talk and refresh ourselves. The conversation quickly turned to our hopes and ambitions for our time in The Laboratory of Dissent.

Note to self: assess the context

It’s easy to forget the context in which we make, act on our personal vision, and create.

Our environment and situation, and also the culture in which we are placed all play a part in creating resistance, challenges and (also) opportunity.

These questions are an antidote to the inner critic:

  1. What aspects of your cultural environment are at odds with what you are trying to do?
  2. And have you given yourself credit for what you have achieved in that context?

“I’m documenting everything.” Kimvi tells me.

All her 5min breaks at work, (and all spaces in between) are being put toward connecting with this project and the process.

Our connection as co-explorers is maintained via WhatsApp including a three way chat named The 3 Whispers. “The medium is the message” Kimvi says, (quoting Marshall McLuhan, 1964). She wants to highlight the limitations of time and be honest about the context in which we are working. She says the way we use our bodies, our social media platform, or any medium is a message. And our context includes needing to find time to be mothers, or employees, partners, to eat, sleep, rest and some days that’s easier that others. Some days are moods are like YoYo’s and our mental or emotional state effects how, when and why we show up.

The primary tenant of our emerging ‘artist policy’ is to support one another in being ourselves through honest words, thought and action.

As Kimvi wasn’t at the symposium earlier this month I recounted some of the details including my ‘moment of flow’.

“That was a performance!” Kimvi told me, “You did a performance without even knowing it!”

Kimvi told me that live-art performances are about accessing the emotion in the living moment, it’s not about acting.

I remarked that the action of pushing away with my hand (the performative action) did enact what I was describing (I was claiming my position, and speaking my experience) and it was that action that released the emotion, an upwelling that could not easily be suppressed.

And so the moment that I chose to let the emotion be there, and allow it to imbue my words and action was the moment I became the performer, enacting.

“You had all those feelings in you but you just needed your chance to express them.” she said,

“You got emotional because it make sense in that moment, in that situation. It wouldn’t have happened at your desk.”

Flowing (2 Nov ’19)

I cried in public today
On stage I stood
Before all those faces
And I feel so proud
That I didn’t squash it down
But flowed
Staying on the thread.

Susan Merrick red and yellow
asked me do you want a hug?
Yes please I said and continued talking
Finishing with an embrace of support
I like hugs, I said.

Definitely not alone.
Perhaps when we use our voices
people will stand with us
Just enough to steady ourselves
Flowing on the tide

I shared my experience
Pushing back
A “yes but…”
I pushed with my hands
Defining my space?

“Ooh I’m feeling quite emotional” I admitted to the crowd
That pushing action
Arms out hands flat
Feeling that action
Am I on my soapbox?

I didn’t think that then
I just felt the sensation
Sometimes you need to push back I said
When you’ve taken on so much
of the other

A balancing act
What just happened?
What did you see?
Raw and loose
Contemplating me

Published by Maija Liepins

Australian born, mixed-media artist, Maija Liepins focuses on the sensory and emotional experience in her visual dreamscapes. Repetitive actions such as dream journals or collecting visual impressions with her mobile phone generates material with which to reveal the subtle, ‘underneath’. Maija’s drawings and films allude to a symbolic mythology as if the intangible substance of dream is a material as real as ink and clay. Her practice is driven by a pursuit of freedom - to express, to create, and to collaborate without inculturated inhibition.

One comment on “A conversation with Kimvi about live-art, honest work…”

  1. Really good to read this. I feel like I’m playing catch up, and haven’t had chance to visit the blog for a while. It’s easy to see what others are doing and feel your contribution isn’t somehow ‘enough’. But even if we areen’t on site, the conversations and the experiences we have are bubbling away inside, releasing images or thoughts when we give them the space they need. Thanks for the reminder Kimvi

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