Amy Siegel and Aubyn O’Grady of the League of Lady Wrestlers (LOLW) chatted with us about their current Wresidency at the Art Hut. LOLW has created a multimedia imagining of a feminist utopia wrestling ring in the space. A circular, hand-built ring in the centre of the room is the wrestling platform and stage where performers throughout the city have been invited to make use of the space. Check our their work on now until April 6th!
Can you tell us about the formation of the League of Lady Wrestlers? Was the message political from the outset?
LOLW began in Dawson City, Yukon in 2013. Aubyn O’Grady, founder of the league, started it as an art project to celebrate the women she was surrounded by.
The league wasn’t necessarily political from the outset, the idea felt radical- to make people who would never attend an art event enjoy themselves at an art event. As the league became more defined we also began to define our politics and grew into being a more explicitly feminist space.
Organizationally, the LOLW operates as a performance art collective, developing our choreography and performances with input from the entire group. Conceptually, the organization draws inspiration from the social turn in contemporary art which is grounded in the belief that art can effect change in the social realm. In doing so, we seek a more active role for our audiences, who are often redefined as participants or collaborators.
What about this residency at the Art Hut is unique to other performances?
The residency at the Art Hut is different from anything LOLW has done before. Performance is ephemeral and one of the beautiful things about the league is that exists in the shared memories of the wrestlers and fans who come to the shows. Inhabiting a space is an altogether different form, it was an experiment in imagining what a wrestling utopia would consist of, what a feminist ring might look like, who might occupy the space.
What could one expect to experience in the hut this week?
There are lots of exciting events happening at the Art Hut this week!
Tuesday April 4 Hannah Simpkin is leading a life drawing evening from 7-10. Wrestlers will be posing in the ring! Please bring your own materials.
Wednesday April 5 Lauren Fournier and Michael Comeau will be inhabiting the space to create a durational performance, INVOCATION OF MY TEENAGE SELF: AN AUTO-EXORCISM/WORKSHOP. Drop in at your leisure between 12-5pm.
Thursday April 6 The Softest Closing Party. This intimate night will include:
– A public lecture by Emma McKenna, (PhD candidate, SSHRC Fellow, McMaster University) tentatively titled “Feeling the Heat: Reading the Pornography Debate in 1980s Canadian Feminism”
– Readings from poetry curated by Vanessa Barnier and Michael Comeau:
– Glittering services by POSI VIBEZ throughout the night, and DJ GRAVESTONER playing at the end.
Dates: Mar 27 – Apr 6, 2017
Mar 27 – 31 | Open studio hours while artists build and install
Apr 1, 2, 5, 6 | 11am-6pm | Public programming