Stop justifying art on a financial imperative, says performance artist Fauve Alice

What does it mean to be a performance artist? Fauve Alice talks us through her work

Stop justifying art on a financial imperative, says performance artist Fauve Alice

Hi Fauve! Please could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

Hello! My name is Fauve and I work in live performance and film as a director and performer.

Please describe your artistic work in 3 words. 

Provocative, playful, tactile.

Tell us more about one of your recent projects.

I'm currently in the process of making a short film with Tanya Cubric. It reveals the experience of a woman eating fruit and through this reconnecting with her sensuality. We play with techniques used from ASMR and images from Caravaggio. It’s going to be absurd and squelchy and fun.  

What inspired this work?

I'm interested in the way in which the organic and synthetic can interact, both visually and through sound. I think that rejecting the idea of nature as a pastoral idyll and rather interacting with nature in the form it takes now is fascinating. We can look at how this informs our psychic landscape, particularly during this period where we have been detached and isolated from experiences of nature and wildness. 

226fda569c7cc3aaed912a578d4930add3b9b19a.jpgWhat impact do you hope this work will have on audiences?

I often think of making work for audiences of the near future. I hope that my work can open up new ideas or sensations, sometimes this will be uncomfortable but hopefully it will also be part of a journey to reimagine our relationship to certain aspects of our lives such as sensuality, femininity and care.  

What has it been like to be an artist during Covid-19? Tell us about some of the challenges you’ve faced and how you’ve tried overcoming them. 

I've been a bit jealous of artists who have been able to continue to work seemingly uninterrupted like painters and poets. For me, the beauty of live performance is having a tangible relationship with an audience and I don't think that digital performance is able to capture that. You're unable to be responsive to an atmosphere created by the live audience so the performance becomes a different thing. 

However, this moment has definitely made me think more about film and the way in which you can draw attention to delicate and intimate images to share feelings and experiences.  

Has your time in lockdown due to Covid-19 brought about any new creative projects? How have you stayed artistically motivated during this time?

I go through fits and starts. I also think boredom is necessary for the creative process so I haven't worried too much about not feeling inspired to create a masterpiece. I'm not really interested in being productive for the sake of it. It has been interesting to slow down during lockdown and finding out what I can learn from being slow and the texture of slowness.   

What has your experience been like with UK New Artists?

I've loved working with UKNA! Last year I went with them to Norway as part of a festival organised by Platform Nord. I collaborated and performed with new artists, participated in some great workshops, met some amazing people, and had loads of fun. 

Have any particular artists influenced your artistic style?

I love the work of Ana Mendieta and Maya Deren, and although their work is very different I love the way in which they play with absurdity and sensuality. 

What advice would you give to young creatives who are interested in a career in the arts?

Make your own work, discover what you want to say and don't ask for permission from other people to say it. Trust that what you have to say is important.

Work internationally! The UK thinks that it is the centre of the universe but there are amazing artists to collaborate with across the globe. Find people whose work you love and learn how to work like them. 

What’s next for the art world?

The art world is going through a tricky moment because of Covid-19. I hope that we can stop justifying art on a financial imperative. I want the art world not to be an industry but a way of life. I think that artists are world makers and through their imaginations, there's the potential to create new possibilities and futures. Right now there are many aspects of our lives which need to be pulled apart and reimagined. I know this is idealistic but I don't see any other option. 

How can people find out more about yourself and your artwork?

My website or you can visit me on Twitter and Instagram

Header Image Credit: Courtesy of the artist, from Extra Terra


Sienna James

Sienna James Voice Team

Formerly Assistant Editor, Sienna now studies History of Art at the University of Cambridge and loves to write about the intersection of politics, history and visual art. Sienna is author of the Creative Education and Instaviews series.

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