The public call out for the inaugural CIRCA x Dazed Class of 2021 initiative asked audiences to submit a 2.5 minute film in response to the theme ‘Communion’ set by interdisciplinary artist and lecturer, Angel Rose. After receiving 2,000 applications, we are proud to present the 30 finalists who will each receive access to the Dazed Space and have their work exhibited as part of the CIRCA programme, appearing across public screens in London, Tokyo and Seoul this September.
Expanding on their commitment to help support the talent of tomorrow, CIRCA and Dazed appointed a community of jurors including Cauleen Smith, Frank Lebon, Hugo Comte, Simone Rocha, Dexter Navy, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Michele Lamy to select their top 5 submissions. From this, one lucky finalist will be selected by world renowned performance artist Marina Abramović to receive the #CIRCAECONOMY cash prize of £30,000.
With public art spaces diminishing, investment in arts education being cut and artist communities at risk, this joint initiative aims to empower the next generation of artists working in moving-image by platforming new voices and points of view from local communities on a global level, giving them unrivalled media exposure and the tools to help kick start their careers.
My name is Lucy Loader, I am 30 years old and I currently live near Southampton. I am from a working class background and previously commuted to London (for financial reasons) to study an MA in moving image at the RCA, where I graduated in 2018. I have been involved in various group shows which have been self funded/organised projects, screenings and multi-screen installations.
My practice developed from questioning our encounters with screens and how they affect the self, our bodies and gender identity. It has become clear within my practice that I wish to create alternative ways of seeing bodies on screens, to a vision which is less binary more multi-faceted and complex. Beneath the surface level of identity and the screen, there is a slipperiness to gender and the self.
These ideas can be seen in my most recent work which is called, The Motion of Our Blood In the Depths of the Universe, I have submitted a short version from the original 7 minute long video. The work attempts to visualise an internal expression and reveal identity as a multiplicity, to see the body as a collection of many things, cosmic and technological, interconnected with other beings and nature. Weird, fluid and ever changing, using abjection as a form of liberation, collaging bodies and voices, within postproduction. This work responds to the theme “Communion” as a sharing in common the experience of the peculiarity of being in a body and of existence. My thoughts relate to those of Laura Mulvey, Donna Haraway, Judith Butler, and Legacy Russel. The idea of showing this in a public space on an advertisement screen would allow me to inject these ideas into these spaces, to offer another way of seeing, to reclaim, and rework the gaze.
How did you become an artist and what was your route to your current practice?
I began drawing from a young age and encouraged from my dad who draws caricatures. I think this has influenced me more than I realise, these drawings which exaggerated performativity and aspects of character.
I studied painting and performing arts at college, and went onto study a BA in Fine Art where I began questioning aspects of identity. The final year of my BA was an important point in my practice as I began to question our encounters with screens and how they affect the self, gender identity and desire. I was questioning the objectification of women and gender stereotypes within film. I spent my time recording myself lip-syncing to films like Pretty Woman and I started to project these lip-syncs onto installations of remakes of film sets. This was also a time when I was questioning how I was performing with my own gender, and somehow wanting to dismantle that. I began reading up on psychology, feminism and gender. I saved up, and commuted to London to study an MA specialising in moving image. Within my moving image works I felt a need to reclaim and rework the gaze and it became clear within my practice that I wish to create alternative ways of seeing bodies on screens.
What inspires you to make your work?
I’m inspired by my own experiences of being in a body, questioning the self and what it is to be human. Using moving image as a medium inspires me, by being able to collage and layer techniques together, it allows for fluidity, glitches, distortions, and things too metamorphose and merge. Working in this way allows me to create visualisations which are reflective of an inner self beyond a surface level of an image, psychological, and textured, challenging the gaze.
I’m inspired by the theatricality of early cinema to new screen technologies. I research feminist readings and my thoughts relate to those of Laura Mulvey, Donna Haraway, Judith Butler, and Legacy Russel.
Can you identify any elements of your community or collaborators that have had a strong influence?
During my time at the RCA we had a group of artists, both students and staff who were making work around the body, gender, and technology and using moving image as a tool to create new ways of seeing. I found this environment supportive and it encouraged my ideas. It was inspiring to work with other artists who specialised in moving image, from straight up filmmaking to animation or who used it to record performances. We learnt from each other and shared techniques.
Being physically apart from this community after university and during the pandemic, has been challenging but it’s highlighted the importance of moving image as a medium, which enables us to share and communicate with these works online and in new ways. This has influenced the way i’d like to continue to show and make work, and the importance to show work in ways we may have never before, to make art more accessible and to allow us to feel connected when we feel isolated.
Would you consider your practice to have a positive social impact, and if so in what way?
There feels a freedom in seeing identity and the self as a multiplicity, vast and interconnected. It offers a visualisation beyond binary reflections, freeing ourselves from seeing the self and gender as something which is stationary. The work offers a reflection which is interconnected with other beings, nature and technology. I would hope this would have a positive impact in challenging how we think about our relationship to others and the planet. The work offers alternative possibilities which are Injected into spaces, and I would like to continue using technologies and alternative spaces to out reach out to a wider audiences.
How is your project tied to the Circa x Dazed Class of 20:21 theme of ‘Communion?:
The Motion of Our Blood in the Depths of the Universe, responds to the theme “Communion” as sharing in common the peculiarity of being in a body and of existence. The work attempts to visualise an internal expression and reveal identity as a multiplicity, to see the body as a collection of many things, cosmic and technological, interconnected with other beings and nature. Weird, fluid and ever changing, using abjection as a form of liberation, collaging bodies and voices.
Has your work been recognised by any public bodies or organisations in the past?
Apart from the universities I have attended, my work hasn’t been recognised by any other public bodies/organisations in the past.
How would the #CIRCAECONOMY prize of £30,000 impact your future practice?
The CIRCAECONOMY prize would have a significant impact on my future practice. It would allow me to make much more ambitious artworks, and this would challenge my practice and how I use moving image as a medium. The prize would enable me to make new work in ways I have never before, expanding my knowledge and advancing my technical ability. The prize would give me recognition to help kickstart my career.
What would you do with the money?
The prize would allow me to develop how the work will be produced, with a want to work with more advanced technology and equipment. It would allow me to update my computer system to be more compatible with editing 4k footage, and allow me to start working with 3D programs. I would like to start creating works using 3D, motion capture, holograms, VR and MR technology. These works would exist as installations and online. I want to use these techniques to continue questioning what it is to be a body today. The prize could also pay for costumes, renting equipment, and for video programs. I would also use the money to help set up online and physical exhibitions.
If you are awarded the #CIRCAECONOMY prize, how might this affect your community?
I would like to set up exhibitions with moving image artists in a hope that these exhibitions would offer other opportunities for artists to show works. These exhibitions would be curated both online and in physical spaces. I hope this would open up possibilities for like-minded artists to connect regardless of their location and to collaborate with each other, pushing the boundaries of how we make and interact with moving image.