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Lisa Anita Wegner

I make stuff and sometimes write about it

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Lisa Anita Wegner

Lisa Anita Wegner

Dear Gaga,

My name is Lisa and I am a filmmaker, performance artist, curator, storyteller, light bender and space/time traveller. You inspire me tremendously, and I am writing to express my appreciation for what you have sparked in my work, beginning with Queen of the Parade, my first large-scale performance/fashion/video installation and the work that put me on the map as an artist. 

Rise and Fall of The Queen of Jupiter 2016

Rise and Fall of The Queen of Jupiter 2016


In 2008, I had hit hard times – I lost my film production company, all my savings, my heart and my mind. I collapsed getting to the Cannes Film Festival in 2008 and spent the next two years largely unable to function. In the Trauma Therapy Department of Women’s College Hospital, I found art therapy. I started a daily art-making practice that saved my life. I had gone offline and expressing myself in art and video was my lifeline, my communication with the outside world.

I remember the exact moment the idea for Queen of the Parade was born: I was walking my dogs and listening to “Marry The Night” after I had been binging on the BBC Series My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. (I am obsessed with the gloriousness of Gypsy Fashion.)

That night, hearing your lyrics, “I won’t give up on my life/I’m a soldier to my own emptiness/I’m a winner,”  affected me profoundly, and set something inside me aflame. In a flash, I pictured myself as an enormous woman in a huge dress with a video screen on the front, with your song resounding in my head. I rushed home and wrote everything down in a crazy, inspired burst. This was the first step toward the 26-foot installation that was part of Toronto’s Nuit Blanche in 2013; during the event itself, I listened to “Marry The Night” on repeat with ear buds while I was twenty feet in the air.

This led to my first commission by Partners in Art, who commissioned a gallery-sized 10-foot Queen. This was a terrific experience that enabled to connect more directly with the audience, and I didn’t want the performance to ever end. 


Something was awakened in me and this led to a whole body of work of experimenting on and off the space/ time continuum and speeding up and stretching out moments. I could finally breathe; I felt like I had come alive.

My new performing persona Think(k) Blank Human was born the following Nuit Blanche in Toronto as part of my installation TRIANGLE. I found comfort in her skin, and really came out of myself as a performer.

In 2016, I will be creating The Fall and Rise of The Queen of Jupiter, which feels like the natural progression of my work. This time, I will be kicking off my high heels and putting on Thin(k) Blank Human’s space boots, and I shall rise from a pile of fabric into a 40 foot Alien Queen. Instead of strutting, I will run and dance.

queen.jupiter.doc queen.jupiter.doc2


This performance piece will run 33 minutes and I would love permission to use extended versions of “Marry The Night,” “ARTPOP” and “Applause” as the soundtrack for the ascension. 

I am approaching Thelma Madine, the Gypsy dressmaker from the series, to design the Queen of Jupiter’s Gown, and I would love to have  permission to use those three songs.

This is my story of re-invention, and I feel like this is the first piece I’m presenting that is truly me. I’ve been searching for authenticity through artifice and I finally have landed on something. I feel extremely compelled toward this project. For women who have crashed and burned and for those of us who have gotten up, I feel it is our job to inspire others to get up and stand as tall as we can. You preach this every day, and this is one of the many reasons for my unbridled admiration.

Please let me know your thoughts me using your music for The Fall and Rise of The Queen of Jupiter in 2016.

An ocean of appreciation from my Haus to yours,

Mighty Brave + Haus of Dada, Toronto

p.s. Thin(k) Blank Human did many a cover of Marry the Night, she was so inspired.


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I tell people all the time that I meditate but so far I’ve laid pretty low about my meditation buddy Ziggy Stardust.  It sheds light on my fascination, for those interested in such shedding.

Lately in my meditations when I look in a mirror I see a mashup of myself as/and Ziggy Stardust. It feels like the most natural thing in the world to have him lounging emanating pure pleasure and joy. This is in a meditation space where usually there is blank slate. I have a wild imagination but have tamed it diligently over the years- I’m pretty good at clearing my mind and creating a blank scene.  When outside chatter quiets and I’m able to hear myself Stardust is there I let him sit. Sometimes he offers a comment but often is silent looking at me knowingly.
I’ve been compelled into creative action by this character more than an I ever expected.  I dig Bowie but it’s his 1973 spaceman rock god that has my imagination hostage recently. I started to get a sense that somehow I was seeing an unexplored aspect of myself.  I became compelled to try him on for size.
At Andrew Williamson’s gallery The Black Cat on July 31st 2014  I will perform a live transformation. Wanda MacRae hair and makeup artist will make the magic while I experience it. She will dye, cut and make me up replicating the Life on Mars video. Ouchy eyebrow removal also onsite. Of all the awesome  upcoming work, I am the most excited about his.
After we have some matching footage of the LOM video I’m going to figure out the next step. The rest of the week I’m editing live and filming in the gallery basically moving my art practise into a public space. Want to know how I make what I do, here’s your chance.  I just now realized I want to set up a go pro all week. I also have a second Stardust transformation happening on a lovely fellow in my life who looks like Bowie thus we will shoot Stardust on Stardust, the crescendo of the ultimate creative wank. Incidentally one of my dogs looks like the canine from Diamond Dogs album over so some half dog half human action is terrifyingly in order.
In 1973, the year that I was born David Bowie lived as Stardust for one year. I love that he knew the perfect length for an alien rockstar to live and killed him off in his prime. So somehow in 73 that poked into my imagination’s DNA.  I  have no idea where this is going to go, but I can’t wait to see the world treats me sporting the Stardust.

I declare myself officially part of the huge pool of artists inspired by the space man himself. Thanks Zig. Thanks Bowie. I am so excited to see where this door takes me and I’ll see you on the other side.
Now back to prepping video content for a group show UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT and then dodging raindrops with the diamond dogs.
LAW of Transformation:
Life on Jupiter
the law of ziggy

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his is a double blog post about the last two creative projects i was involved in.

how it must feel being in a zoo:

i had the pleasure of working as a performer with artist Kent Monkman for THE ART GAME,  an installation at the Toronto Art Fair. 
i played the most prolific artist in the world. the piece is a fun house with a side show feel. i was in a windowed room painting in a twelve armed outfit.
hundreds of people walked by the window in the time i was in there. and apparently if there is a piece of glass between audience and performer, the audience thinks you can’t hear them.

favourite overheard comments:
child: does that painter use all her arms to paint? father: (exasperated) people have two arms.
she’s not painting
she’s not real
she’s not dipping the brush
an hour ago she was a man
this is bullshit
i don’t want her to paint me
i don’t want her looking at me like that (I wasn’t even looking at that person)
bang bang on glass get to work
and the cake taker: a guy who started taking his clothes off and rubbing his nipples the evening of the gala. classy.
i’m making a little video about how it felt being in a box and watched. i’ll post it soon.
the inspiration perspiration balance:
i recently had the pleasure of working on a music video for Jane Siberry’s latest album the THREE QUEEN’S TRILOGY.
this was the first time i generated creative content -by myself- for a project for someone else. running my own production company i was usually the overseer of the creative and had the final say with the director. in this case, i did have the excellent Ingrid Veninger as creative consultant which was terrific. this was my first hands on everything gig and boy did i love it.
the video is comprised largely of pixel paintings and animation generated by laptop, which is under equipped for such endeavours.
i started pixel painting when i was recovering from illness, i came up with the process during my art therapy. when i experienced waves of anxiety i would pixel paint to calm myself down. i literally would sit down at my computer, go out of myself and make something without any deliberate thinking whatsoever.
so this art creation was a far cry from my usual film maker workflow. and i had abundant faith that it would work out, but i wasn’t sure how. especially with a ten day deadline.
to prepare i listened to the whole album and specifically the song WHEN WE ARE A VAMPIRE. when i felt ready i sat down an made something. something to send in. a starting point. looking back that first cut was pretty balanced and flowed okay but was entirely images of me. so i start afresh with some notes from Ingrid and some pictures of Jane.
the second cut and the third cut felt less inspired and less artistic. i didn’t like what i was making.
i lost the effortless flow when i had to factor in the other parameters. and then all of a sudden, my worked kinda sucked. so here i was three cuts later, with three days to deliver and i had nothing. so i guess this is what my panicking directors felt like. not being inclined to panic myself, i broke it down like i would for helping a director.
i made steps and i followed them myself. i listened to the music without thinking, i re-read all the notes i had from my other versions, and took some time away and stay focused and relaxed.
i sat down with all these elements in my head and i started. i came up for a breath and the cut was almost done. it was coming today. yeah! i sent it in and got positive feedback.
from there it was familiar again, taking notes and finessing. i did it! the video is being launched today on hallowe’en and it came together.
i once told someone we were a faith based company and they though i meant religious. but meant faith in the project and faith in the process. faith in oneself and faith in ones creative ability.

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