Thursday, 26 March 2015

Media landscapes according to Quilla Constance

Quilla Constance is a punk persona looking to provide a critique of the development of the pop ascetic. Recently she took club soho to court. She says “I thought it would be something quite funny to do a gig there as a spoof militant punk persona.” But in the end they double booked her gig with a corporate gig. She went straight to equity and they sued and won. She said: “I did a protest outside, which was actually I would have said a lot more punk than anything that would have happened inside the club anyway.”

Quilla is insistent about providing an alternative to the mainstream, which she sees as toxic. She is interested in the fact that women now seem to find it empowering to take off as many clothes as possible. She is scathing that Lilly Allen is saying oh yeah I’m a feminist ambassador and then the next day she’ll be like, you know posing in FHM. “I’m just wondering where that alternative voice is.”

Her message she says looks at an over identification with a familiar ascetic and where does a black woman reside in this very air brushed European look. The interruption of that very glamorous language.

“She’s the arbiter of taste. She’s the QC. Let’s call her the mainstreams ultimate quality control.”

Feminism vs conformity

When I was doing lots of research for this PR blitz video (her last performance) I was just ripping out headlines from these gossip magazines and a lot of the headlines were about a woman’s weight … or whether they were happy with their bodies and stuff. And it’s just kind of like God you know is there really nothing else to talk about?

She speaks at length about the way the media is driven by PR. She clearly sees the whole thing as fundamentally flawed. She is irritated by the fact that women are drawn to careers like Jordan’s rather than other professions. She goes on to say: “I think possibly I’m repulsed by it more because I’ve never fitted into that ascetic anyway.”

“People think, oh if you’re a feminist you must be a really butch angry woman it had a very bad press behind it and the problem is, it’s not defined, it can’t be defined really, I don’t agree that it is as cheap as it’s being sold to be. There’s more to it.”

Where next?

Asked whether she would like to see the media landscape as it currently exists to self destruct she says: “I don’t think that it’s ever going to be, the joke about the PR blitz with the news of the world landing on a puppet of Rebekah Brooks at the end is the fact that it’s never over and it never will be, it’s only going to get worse I think actually”

With QC she is trying to claim back some of the power that she feels has been lost. She is not trying to create pop, but rather provide an alternative landscape to the dialogue that she feels resides there.

The Private View of her exhibition is tonight from 6pm.

Solo exhibition, opening at 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning (funded by Arts Council England). The exhibition runs from March 26th - May 8th, with a symposium at UAL Chelsea College of Arts and video screenings / performances at The Freud Museum and St John's College, Oxford to follow.

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