INTERVIEW: Love TV
As an amalgamation of music and the arts Peats Ridge Festival has invited a hugely diverse selection of artists to populate their festival greens for the three days. One of the arts events that is shaping up to be a must-see is multi-media performance piece LOVE TV.
Love TV is a project I have been working on and evolving for then last ten years, and basically it is the idea of having the most private conversation in a public space. What I do is interview people as the guise of Aphrodite, bringing them into my private booth, or clam, and we have a conversation around what people love, are passionate about, what they believe in, and what inspires them and then that conversation becomes a live performance. It is also broadcast to screens and recorded. So it is a combination of theatre, visual arts, screen culture and public space activation and community engagement (laughs). It’s a bit of everything really.
So what environments do you usually have this show performed in? Because it is at Peats Ridge which is in many ways a boozy music festival, so what other environments have you performed it in?
Well I have very recently returned from a big trip to New York, where we worked with the city of New York and we presented the work at major public spaces throughout the five Boroughs (Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island). To do this we partnered with the local community group, who we then work together with to create a list of guests to come onto the show.
How do different community groups respond to you and telling you their stories?
It is interesting, in America a lot of people wanted to talk about God, which I have never, never encountered in Australia, a pack of heathens over here. It really differs a lot, because when you’re in a public space, you know it is a family audience so then the discussions have to be curated to that space. Yet if I interview late at night outside a bar then everything is discussed, it gets sexier but more adult themed.
Being a media based show, how has changes to technology changed the way you present Love TV?
Well yeah, look it has changed and it hasn’t. Like the very first time I did it, Love TV was recorded to a VHS tape and then we had to edit that and send the tape to people for them to see it. But now we do almost everything live and upload the video to Youtube. And then with Facebook, it’s just one of those things that worked so well for Love TV, even better than our website because everyone’s on it anyway which means that network is sitting there, so technology has really been a great partner in the development in what Love TV can really be.
So what was the original vision for when you came to doing Love TV?
Well it really started off as a photographic experiment where I was exploring how feminist archetypes resonated in the modern world. Then as I took on the guise of Aphrodite what came about were conversations on love, because that is what people wanted to do when I took on this character. I never knew really what the product or the full outcome would be but I have always been so caught up in the process of making the work. I am still not really sure what is going to happen with Love TV, but that is also what keeps me inspired.
I am very passionate about working in public spaces as an artist and allowing the opportunity for other artists to do that. I think it is important to keeping the dialogue going culturally about how important public art is.
In the process of telling you their stories, how giving have you found people to be?
They tell me everything, it’s quite bizarre. Well I think there is an innate human urge to share and I think a desire for everyone to feel accepted and when you are in a public space telling your story about what you believe in, or your beautiful love, or heartbeat or seduction or next great project you are working on, and everyone cheers you when you leave it’s a great reinforcement. At the end of day everyone just wants to know that everything is ok and that they will be all right.
Have there been stories that have really stuck with you?
Rutger Hauer, the actor from Blade Runner, he came on the show once and initially he so didn’t want to tell me anything, and was almost offended that I wanted to query him on his love life, but by the end he told me everything about his marriage of 25 years and he gave me the best quote that I have ever had, which was ‘Love will either feed you or eat you’. I think that really sums up the nature of love, and in a way the nature of art and so many other things where passions lies, it’s either going to feed you or eat you.
What can audiences expect when they see you at Peats Ridge Festival?
We are going to make it a really easy vibe, people can come and have a cocktail, unwind, watch Love TV and see some of your favorite artists who you may have seen that day or are going to watch. You know, discover who they really are and what they really believe in and what they are like off the stage. And also if people what to come on the show please do, come join me in the clam.
Check out Love TV at Peats Ridge Festival from Saturday the 29th of December to the 31st. Buy tickets HERE.
Also, you can keep updated with Love TV at the website HERE to follow the adventures of Aphrodite as she continues explores love.
Words by Luke Letourneau