June 28, 2010

Hot Topic video

Higher quality Youtube version HERE.

I just made a video that finally puts my Hot Topic painting series to the beat of the song that inspired it. In 2006 I was back in art school after a year-long hiatus and wanted to learn how to oil paint. My profs weren't super helpful - all they said was "Just paint, and paint, and PAINT!". So, I did. I had always had this idea in the back of my mind, to visually record this song, and it seemed like a good excuse to finally do it. Two years and 60 paintings later, the Hot Topic series was done.

Here's the properly-written version of the above:

‘Hot Topic’ is a series of 60 paintings portraying each person mentioned in the Le Tigre song of the same name. This song is a tribute to feminist heroes of all stripes: artists, activists, writers, musicians, and others. Many of the people in the song have strongly influenced my own development as an artist and activist, but are relatively unknown outside of certain subcultures. In a world that celebrates manufactured pop stars but forgets the names of suffragists, I wanted to find a way to solidify the memory of the underground superstars whose creativity and ideas have made such a difference to feminists of my generation.

Portraiture has traditionally been used as a means of depicting the wealth and high social standing of its (often male) subjects. I wanted to use the portrait for its ability to announce importance and greatness, without upholding the tired ideals of the brave and solitary hero or genius. Presented on the wall in a grid, the works no longer stand as individual portraits and instead form a pastiche that is indicative of the interconnectivity and community so integral to feminist culture.

Each piece measures 8 x 12 inches and is a variety of mixed media on board.

About the Song

Hot Topic was released in 1999 by Mr. Lady Records on Le Tigre’s self-titled debut album. Le Tigre at the time consisted of Kathleen Hanna, Johanna Fateman, and Sadie Benning. Benning was later replaced by JD Samson. The lyrics included below are intended to provide readers unfamiliar with the band or song with a better concept of the series.

Lyrics to Hot Topic © Le Tigre 1999 (lyrics from LeTigreWorld.com)

Hot topic is the way that we rhyme

Hot topic is the way that we rhyme

One step behind the drum style

One step behind the drum style
Carol Rama and Eleanor Antin

Yoko Ono and Carolee Schneemann

You're getting old, that's what they'll say, but

Don't give a damn I'm listening anyway

Stop, don't you stop

I can't live if you stop

Don't you stop
Gretchen Phillips and Cibo Matto

Leslie Feinberg and Faith Ringgold

Mr. Lady, Laura Cottingham

Mab Segrest and The Butchies, man

Don't stop
Don't you stop

We won't stop

Don't you stop

So many roads and so much opinion

So much bullshit to give in to

So many rules and so much opinion

So much bullshit but we won't give in
Stop, we won't stop

Don't you stop

I can't live if you stop

Tammy Rae Carland and Sleater-Kinney

Vivienne Dick and Lorraine O'Grady

Gayatri Spivak and Angela Davis

Laurie Weeks and Dorothy Allison

Stop, don't you stop

Please don't stop

We won't stop

Gertrude Stein, Marlon Riggs, Billie Jean King, Ut, DJ Cuttin Candy, David Wojnarowicz, Melissa York, Nina Simone, Ann Peebles, Tami Hart, The Slits, Hanin Elias, Hazel Dickens, Cathy Sissler, Shirley Muldowney, Urvashi Vaid, Valie Export, Cathy Opie, James Baldwin, Diane Dimassa, Aretha Franklin, Joan Jett, Mia X, Krystal Wakem, Kara Walker, Justin Bond, Bridget Irish, Juliana Luecking, Cecilia Dougherty, Ariel Skrag, The Need, Vaginal Creme Davis, Alice Gerard, Billy Tipton, Julie Doucet, Yayoi Kusama, Eileen Myles
Oh no no no don't stop stop............

You can find a short bio on every person by going to www.hottopicproject.blogspot.com, or by clicking the 'Hot Topic' label in the sidebar to the right. I will also eventually have a nice, full exhibition of the series on my main website, www.hellokirsten.com

No comments: