Multidisciplinary artist, Robert James Anderson, returns to Jersey to develop and present his performance work, 'MAGPIE'.
Robert, who won the ‘Mercedes Matter and Ambassador Middendorf Award’ for Performance in New York, used his ArtHouse Jersey residency to develop this new piece of work. The artist says that the work is an 'outcome of an extensive and varied creative process'. It was shared at the Chateau Vermont's chapel on 29th and 30th November 2018.
Described as an 'exploded self-portrait from the perspective of a queer art-maker' the performance seeks to examine masculinity, alienation, aspiration, loneliness, and the mythic/marginalised status of the art-maker as a cultural figure. Encompassing many different forms of artwork, the piece both a live performance within an evolving multimedia art installation.
Anderson weaves his own written musical scores, texts and moving images into a visual and auditory extravaganza with himself the dynamo at its centre, while other performers assist him, simultaneously countering and diversifying the aesthetic and energy of the body in the so-called spotlight. Part celebration, part lamentation, this piece takes cues from numerous sources, in particular key performance works by Joseph Beuys, the recent output of queer pop star SOPHIE, the music and visuals of Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) and Grimes, the stage concerts of Madonna and live performances by Cyndi Lauper, installations by Bruce Nauman, the performances and recordings of Laurie Anderson, and the works of Marina Abramovi?. In keeping with those who influence him, Anderson's work is charged with deep introspection and sharp social commentary.
British-born Robert J. Anderson received his BA (Hons) in Theatre and Visual Art from The University of Brighton and his Masters in Fine Art (Painting) from the New York Studio School. He is the recent recipient of the Mercedes Matter/Ambassador Middendorf Award for Performance (New York, 2018) and the creator of several previous performance works, including Residuum (Jersey, 2016), Full Moon, Julius, Pussy Faggot (NY, 2014-15), Pudding, and Treacle (Jersey, 2010-11). His work has been written about in Art Critical, Hyperallergic and Time Out New York and he has been reviewed by critics and commentators both in the Channel Islands and overseas. His mural The River formed a centrepiece for the 2014 Mix NYC Queer Experimental Film Festival in Brooklyn, NY and his paintings have been the subject of several solo and group exhibitions and are included in numerous private collections. He has been a muse for artists Walt Cessna and Dietmar Busse and has an extensive network of international collaborators working across many disciplines. He has appeared several times in performance events by Marie Christine Katz and has modelled garments for designers Claire Fleury, Ben Copperwheat, Asher Levine, Scooter LaForge, and William Howell-Jackson (with whom Anderson previously collaborated on Residuum and who will be appearing in this piece). Has curated several exhibitions of visual art in New York City and written widely on the subject of other artist's work. Currently he lives in France.