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Marnie Weber on Fairy Tales, Performance Art and Edward Kienholz

Marnie Weber:  It was the classic story. I went to art school and was in a band at the same time. I was living downtown and I was playing in the band, Party Boys. I would go to school in the daytime, rehearse at night and perform with the band on the weekends. When I got out of school I had to get a full time job, so I was pretty much focused on the band at that point. We put out three records and we toured a bit in England and New York, and we played a lot. The band broke up in 1986. It was the heyday of performance art at the time. I was doing solo performances and I found it very uncomfortable because previously I had just been the bass player and never center stage. I started to wear costumes to take away from the anxiety of being on my own. I was using my own pre-recorded 40-minute backing tapes and I would include other musicians, costumes and sets. I would bring the performances into a gallery like LACE for one night pop up shows. One night I was driving the second truckload of props and sets to LACE and I thought. “This is ridiculous just for one night? I must be a masochist.”


So I thought, I better start trying to do month-long shows. A lot of my artist friends were doing that and I thought that must be amazing. In the meantime, I had been making backing projections and I thought some of these films would stand on their own. The first film, which I shot in the snow, I was a snow person. There are a bunch of animals and the blue bird of happiness falls in the snow. I drag all the animals in snow discs behind me to find the bluebird of happiness. That one set the whole thing off – that was a Super 8 film. In the meantime I have done well over 20 movies not counting the projections and that set me on my way to doing shows in galleries.

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