MILLIE BROWN: Gross, Grotesque, or Gorgeous? (Warning, Viewer Discretion Advised)

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Millie Brown. You may have heard of her. You may have not. You may have seen her in LADY GAGA’s music video (see clip below), and been like “WHO IS THIS YOUNG LADY WHO STICKS HER FINGERS DOWN HER THROAT TO VOMIT (LITERALLY VOMIT) BLUE GLITTER MILK ONTO GAGA’s GOWN?!!!” in her video “Exorcist Interlude.” Some critics are even calling her the next Jackson Pollock (read this article – I swear I am not making up this connection). Is this real life?! Sadly, yes.

She has gotten her art down to a perfection. Brown starves herself for two days. By resisting any form of nutrients, she makes sure there is nothing inside of her that would contribute negatively (if this is not sending a negative message in itself) to her abstract painting (see example through image below).

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After two days, she is ready to put on her performance. If this isn’t gross enough, you may want to STOP here. THANK YOU FOR READING, TRULY I APPRECIATE IT HOWEVER, WARNING: I GET INTO MORE DETAIL…

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Anyways, MB dyes the milk colours of her choice for the canvas. She typically sits and drinks, once in a while stands, but only drinks one colour at a time. She then regurgitates this one colour onto the canvas (see image above) until she feels it is completely out of her system. She will force her fingers down her throat multiple times. Again. And Again. And Again. Literally, until the last drop is out of that colour… And then restarts. ONTO THE NEXT COLOUR.

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While Pollock may have been a drunk, and died because of his disease, he was creating these FANTASTIC performances pieces in themselves through his movements seen by the traces of paint dripped and splattered onto the canvas.

Brown, on the other hand, who is getting LOADS of attention, and sadly I’m just feeding into it here, is, breaking away from “traditional” performance art, but is she? Think Yoko Ono “Cut Piece,” any of Marina Abramović’s “Rhythm” series, Joseph Beuys’ “I like America and America Likes Me…”All of these artists have put themselves in harm’s way. And willingly. But they were not making themselves throw up on command. Especially now, in a society that is pressured by “looks” – i’m so sorry to say this, but “WHAT THE EF?!”

What kind of a message is she sending to all societies and their youth? What message is GAGA sending?! We know GAGA is all about the arts, but she has a tremendous youth following! HOW IS THIS OK? It is one thing to test your body to the limits through strength and endurance, but it is another thing to be bulimic and be making money off of such a sick process, literally. Personally, i’d prefer one of Warhol’s “Piss” pieces. At least it was a natural bodily function.

Well CultureHe(ART)s, sorry for the disturbance, but I wanted you to be “in the know” should anyone be taking about this “new girl on the block” that vom.coms to make art.

Now it’s LADA GAGA vs. LADY GAG. OY. If you would like to see a true performance piece feel free to look it up on YouTube. I truly do not believe in sharing any more of her videos, because I believe it is sending a completely dysfunctional message, even though the finished product may be viewed to some as “beautiful” and “gorgeous.” What do you think?

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Gross, Grotesque, or Gorgeous?

XX, CHC (p.s. Like our Facebook page! Or Follow us on Instagram @CultureHeARTs)

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Tightrope @ Sumarria Lunn Gallery

HEY LONDON! CHECK IT OUT!!!

TIGHTROPE: Takming Chuang, Echo Morgan, Emily Speed and Hanae Utamura

Opening: 5th September 6-9pm with performance by Echo Morgan

Exhibition runs: 6th September to 17th September 2013 / 11am – 6pm (Tuesday to Friday) / 12 – 5pm (Saturday)1003553_628715632369_1273852454_n

Curated by Kate Pantling, Tightrope brings together the work of four international emerging artists Takming Chuang, Echo Morgan, Emily Speed and Hanae Utamura.

The artists share a performative approach to their practice, where a sense of harmony, dissonance and a raw energy are connecting threads. Each artist takes their own body as a starting point, orchestrating narratives that explore the impact of encounters with materials, environments and cultures. Their work is personal, particular and often intimate but speaks to broader political and cultural concerns.

By approaching their work from the context of performance, the artists bring a strong sense of dramatic tension to their artworks. Each of them embraces the visual impact of their interventions to create work that encapsulates a moment imbued with anticipation. They create projects that play across multiple mediums eluding easy categorisation and bringing dynamism and depth to the expression of their ideas.

Takming Chuang documents physical, often uncomfortable encounters between his own body and traditional art materials. For Dead Hang the artist used his own perspiration to tarnish brass plates after performing repeated pull-ups. His Stand marks the result of hours spent motionless on top of a section of painted canvas until his body heat and weight caused it to harden into a mould of his feet. Through these repeated actions, leaving traces of his own body, Chuang explores themes of physicality, sexual identity and mortality.

Echo Morgan uses her own body as a canvas to reclaim and reassess the cultural expectations of her birthplace in China. Applying the feminist theories of Hélène Cixous who asks us to ‘write about our own story, our history, and ourselves’ she addresses issues of gender, and cultural politics through performance, film and photography. For I am the Four Gentlemen Morgan paints on her skin a depiction of the four plants known in China by the same name, chosen for their hardy attributes and depicted as a group: the orchid, the bamboo, the chrysanthemum and the plum blossom. Through doing so Morgan reclaims this Chinese trope as her own and challenges traditional cultural ideals.

Emily Speed explores the relationship between the body and architecture, considering how a person is shaped by the buildings they have occupied and how a person occupies their own psychological space. Her Body / Building photographs mark the point of intersection between the body and the buildings built to house and protect it. Speed’s works make connections by building up shifting layers of disparate materials over time. Through exploring the built environment and drawing on historic architecture, she examines our attempts to create permanence and legacy through building.

Hanae Utamura’s works arise from the artist’s encounters with specific sites. Her Secret Performance Series documents a series of performances in which the artist, as an anonymous figure, makes subtle, insistent and sometimes dangerous interventions into the natural environment. Utamura’s photographic works refer to the traditional Japanese preference for landscape art and the desire to eliminate the self in order to be at one with nature. Her works hinge on an exploration of harmony and disjuncture between her body and the physical and cultural landscape it inhabits.

For more information check out their website! The gallery is located at: Sumarria Lunn Gallery
36 South Molton Lane
London W1K 5AB

ENJOY! Let us know what you think!

XX, DP