Thursday, November 22, 2007

Late Interview with Julie Atlas Muz

YS: What is your proudest performance to date?

Julie: I hate the word pride.

YS: Um, okay. Tell me about a performance that you’d like me to mention on the blog.

Julie: Good question... it’s a question that requires a lot of thought. Probably the show that I just did in Portugal, because I came right here from a big burlesque show; a Satanic show right in the religious capital of Portugal, and that was really special and magical. I directed 13 of my favourite artists to perform and we had a beautiful opera house proscenium thing, and then I came to Singapore… now I’m just super-confused. Super-super confused. And I think that’s a really good place to be.

YS: Do you see yourself as a feminist?

Julie: You really like to label people don’t you? I am feminist. I’m a woman. I’m a woman lover. I’m a human lover. I love humans.

YS: Yeah, that is a problem of mine.

Julie: It’s not a problem. It’s just something you like to do. It’s not a problem as long as you can recognise your own tendencies. Then you can become aware of them, and mitigate them for your own purposes, and not be trapped by them. I’m beginning to understand what I tend to do. You can’t break a habit unless you know it’s there. So they’re not necessarily problems. Maybe challenges. Personal challenges.

You’re a writer, right? But you’re not just a journalist. You’re a poet. There always seems to be a performance, a people who have a set vision, who know what they want. And - I think this is from Frank Herbert’s Dune 3: Children of Dune, there’s a maxim in there - if the only thing that you truly know is that you’re going to die, anything else that you think you know is only death disguised. And I know I want a dance all in pink before I make it.

That’s just an example. If I know I want my dance to do this… if you’ve already killed all possibilities, that’s death. So keeping your path unknown, and being able to keep your path philosophical, spiritual; walking into the unknown… Its scary. It’s fun.

Like, I didn’t understand this project, the Flying Circus Project and I think I’m beginning to understand it now. Like when Keng Sen told me we’re just going to do two presentations - the word presentation is not in my normal vernacular. And it shows. And to not do a show every day is also something that I don’t really necessarily understand on a tour, right? I usually watch people’s work from backstage, from the wings - I don’t usually sit in front. And I’m not seeing people’s shows, I’m not seeing people perform formally, and that’s another something… This workshop is something that I haven’t done in 7 or 8 years. It’s very enriching and very confusing… I think there’s a period of confusion and shit. But that’s good. Manure is what you use to fertilise your seeds. I’m really inspired though.

(peering out of minibus window)

Oh look at that. She can’t walk, but she’s got a wheelchair in the street. Where can I get one of those? That is awesome, that is an awesome wheelchair. Did you see that? She could pump that like a rowboat. I’ve gotta tell that to some of my disabled friends in New York.

YS: Maybe I should edit this.

Julie: You shouldn’t. It’s nice to see the edges.

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