In the September 2011 issue of Bomb Magazine, Britta Wheeler interviewed performance artist Martha Wilson on the eve of her solo exhibition entitled I have become my own worst fear at New York based P. P. O. W. Gallery. Over BLTs, Wilson told Wheeler about the exhibition, her recently published book Martha Wilson Sourcebook: 40 Years of Reconsidering Performance, Feminism, Alternative Spaces, and her organization, Franklin Furnace, an alternative space dedicated to preserving temporal-based arts and making the world safe for avant-garde art.
For the last four decades, Wilson has constructed a series of provocative self-portraits that have spanned across the mediums of video, performance, photography and text-based works. A predecessor to Cindy Sherman, Wilson transforms herself by putting on various ‘feminine’ guises – the goddess, the passive beauty queen, the lesbian – distorting her identity. Paradoxically, her intention is to be invisible by remaining visible, and by doing this she demonstrates, as NY Times critic Holland Cotter describes, “that the gendered roles we play are largely invented for us.” Whether she fixates on role-playing, in a nude-self portrait, or questioning the concept of age, Wilson’s performances identify specific moments in history.
Read the full interview between Wilson and Wheeler on Bombsite!, or read an exclusive review of Wilson’s exhibition by BOMBlogger Lauren Bakst. And be sure to check out more of the artist’s work on BOMB for Paddle8.