Celebrity talk: Artists and their alter egos
With Liam Benson, Radha La Bia and Betty Grumble, moderated by Yumi Stynes
Yumi Stynes gets to know three artists who have another side to their practice and personality: they each have an alter ego. Like Marcel Duchamp, Australian artists Liam Benson, Shahmen Suku and Emma Maye Gibson use their alter egos to explore, embody and perform different ideas. Duchamp’s enigmatic female alter ego Rrose Sélavy, whose name sounds like ‘éros, c’est la vie’ (‘erotic love is life’), allowed the artist to play with identity, sexuality, fashion and fame. So how do today’s artists carry on Duchamp’s wry, subversive spirit? And do their alter egos give them the ultimate creative freedom?
Liam Benson is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice incorporates performance, photography, video and textiles. Benson’s practice is informed by working collaboratively with diverse communities through an ongoing conversation about how culture, sub-culture and identity interrelate and evolve.
Emma Maye Gibson (AKA Betty Grumble) is a Sydney based performance artist. Through performance both in Australia and internationally she engages with the woman body as a political site. Emma Maye’s performative landscape straddles both nightclub/cabaret and theatre/gallery spaces. Notable performances and training include: Day for Night (Performance Space); Siti Company (New York); Block 9 (Glastonbury); festivals accross Australia; Mardi Gras (Sydney) ArtBar (MCA); among many more. She is working towards an ecosexual feminism and wants to save the world.
Shahmen Suku (AKA Radha La Bia) was born in 1987 in Singapore and arrived in Australia in 2009. A performance artist based in Sydney, he explores ideas of racial and cultural identity, gender roles, the home and the kitchen, food and storytelling. Radha has presented works for Liveworks at Performance Space, Liquid Architecture and Cement Fondu, and has appeared on ABC TV’s The set as a recurring host in the kitchen.
Yumi Stynes is an Australian writer, television and radio presenter and massive art fan. She is the co-host of KIIS FM’s 3pm pick-up radio show and presenter of the ABC’s blockbuster podcast Ladies, we need to talk.
Image: Yumi Stynes