I believe that mending is a form of healing. Repairing a hem can be the first step to mending a broken heart.
I sew sagging hems, patch torn sleeves, & search my button boxes for the perfect-sized button to fix a shirt. For every mending action, I sew a button on myself. My goal is to transform my long black apron into a modern version of a traditional London Pearlie.
Artist’s Statement, Featured Artist, Your Kontinent Film, Video & New Media Festival 2912, Cinevolution Media Arts, Richmond Cultural Building, Richmond, BC
After a recent collaboration with artist Francisco-Fernando Granados, I wrote him and said:
“You express my thoughts so well, like an echo from my heart.”
“Barthes talks of ‘the joy of understanding and of being understood’ and this is what I feel when we make work and we converse.”
This kind of intimacy is what art and art-making is all about.
I am glad I abandoned myself to the collective gaze of Ying Wang and her amazing Grrrrrrrrl Gang who work for Cinevolution to produce the Your Kontinent Festival. Theirs is a Pan-Asian Gaze fromTaiwan to Hong Kong to Ankara to Brussels to Richmond. I learned so much about art and life by seeing my work reflected through their curatorial vision. It was revealing to see which of my works resonates with them: which work speaks to their lives as well as mine.
It was interesting to situate where we all were during key world events like 9/11, Tiananmen Square; as well as personal markers like when we first picked up a camera. I value our many art conversations in my kitchen: me and Cinevolution and then later the formal interviews we conducted with artists Tsuneko Kokubo, Eileen Kage and Lorna Boschman whom we interviewed on video about topics that arose from our explorations, research, conversations and tea parties…
As a working class artist, woman, mother, feminist, daughter of immigrants, former Burlesque Entertainer, former Teamster and general Hell-Raiser, I am grateful to be seen, heard and understood by the amazing WIMMIN of Cinevolution aka Your Kontinent . I am so grateful that these wimmin see me, hear me, understand me and want to share my work with you.
To be seen. To be heard. To be understood. Every artist and every citizen craves these things — more so if they live and make art in the margins.
M. Dragu’s Museum –the performance July 21st, 2012 — is my response to this art/curation/archive process with Ying Wang and co-workers. I plunder from my personal history/memory (ie. Actions/objects from 40+ years of performance history) and memories of others’ performances (ie. Actions/objects seen/known thru our shared performance art history(ies).
M. Dragu’s Museum is also my response to a long history of artists’ critiques of the museum/ gallery/academic history with a nod to the Guerilla Girls, Marcel Duchamp, On Kawara, Randy and Berenicci, General Idea and bpNichol.
The Museum of Found Objects – Sameer Farooq & Mirjam Linschooten (accessed July 4, 2012 Facebook)
4. If a museum is generally understood as an “institution that houses and cares for [curates] a collection of artefacts and other objects of scientific, artstic, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing…” [“Museum” –Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Accessed July 15, 2011], The Museum of Found Objectschallenges assumptions about what constitutes the artistic or historical artefact and how their importance is defined or canonised by the historiographic, anthropological or scientific underpinnings of the museum. It reflects on history formalistically and insofar that the institution of the museum is itself a construct of a history that requires critical attention.
The text is: Endnotes: Annotations to the Museum of Found Objects which was published in Sameer Farooq & Mirjam Linschooten’s Toronto publication written by Haema Sivanesan curator and current Executive Director at Centre A (Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art), and past Executive Director at SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre).
MULTI-PERSONAE DISORDER OF MADAME DRAGU & VERB-FRAU
by Florian Feigl
by Margaret Dragu
Friday, 27 May 2011 at 10:42
Review Performer Stammtisch May, 9th Geschrieben von: Florian Feigl Dienstag, 10. Mai 2011 13:33
After kick off with events at Grimmuseum, Tachles, Glogauair and many more MPA started into the second week with regular performance extravaganza Performer Stammtisch at Flutgraben. A nice crowd of about fifty people attended performances, artist talk and stayed quite a while longer for some chit chat among performance art afficionadoes. Performer Stammtisch hosted Swiss artist Steffi Weismann with the sound performance Lapstrap and Canadian artist Margaret Dragu with a lecture titled The Multi-Personae Dis-Order of Madame Dragu flowing into the performance VERB-FRAU which is part of a complex web of art works and personalities that Margaret has been weaving since 2009.
Weismann’s Lapstrap was a impromptu musical piece between sound sculpture and sensitive composition, played on a sound device consisting of speakers, sampling and effect machines she was wearing attached to a carpenters belt. Herself moving in space, between the audience, the piece hovering between yodeling and reasoning about save passwords thus going back to childhood memories and jumping forward into sequences of numbers and letters.
Dragu’s mix and actually pretty wild forward/backward/cross-over of levels and layers regarding imagery and content of various performance personae from historic movies, popular culture, performance art, TV-shows and politics was in the beginning well disguised as a cultural studies lecture. It then turned out to be the starting sequence to rocket off into a performance including tap dancing on a line of flour, stream of conscienceness talk in various languages, repetitive talk of crawling artists on the floor about heavy cups and too much food. Dragu herself ironing and repeatedly spitting red wine over her forearms, eating rose blossoms – all that in front of changing video images. One was a sad looking greyhound in front of Hauptbahnhof. According to Dragu VERB-FRAU is organised like a dictionary. This version was about dance-ing, wrapp-ing – the other two I forgot.