Sarah Hill's contribution to the "Men of Steel, Women of Wonder" exhibit at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is a performance piece called "They Wonder," in which the artist portrays a transgender Wonder Woman, spinning herself to exhaustion.
"You think about the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman -- the way she would transform from everyday Diana Prince to Wonder Woman was simply by spinning around," says Alejo Benedetti, Crystal Bridges assistant curator. "And Sarah Hill was thinking about that as they created this work, because it's very much about this constant performance and the fact that it's not so easy to simply transform into something else or someone else."
Film, Performance, Discussion:
Sarah Hill & Dara Birnbaum
WHEN — 7 p.m. March 8
WHERE — Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville
COST — Free
INFO — 418-5700
Hill, along with fellow artist Dara Birnbaum, will appear in a moderated discussion at Crystal Bridges, after which, Hill will perform live. Hill answered these questions for What's Up!
Q: Can you tell us about your participation in the Crystal Bridges exhibit?
A: I will be performing "They Wonder." In the show "Men of Steel, Women of Wonder," my costume is displayed as well as the documentation from a performance and animation of the documentation.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about the conceptualization and creation of "They Wonder"?
A: I started the performance "They Wonder" in 2012. During the performance "They Wonder," I repeatedly spin around and around in circles. I am interested in the continuous action of spinning and getting nowhere, falling down and getting back up. This specific action of spinning comes from Dara Birnbaum's "Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman" (1978).
Q: The exhibit at Crystal Bridges has several pieces and performances that have LGBTQ themes. Why is this important?
A: In many ways being a queer artist is like being a superhero. We are taught that being a superhero is brave. Superheroes can be buried alive in trunks underwater. But that is not brave. Superheroes never face anything that can actually destroy them. Artists do. Queer artists do. Artists take on the truth even if no one is listening. Artists speak the truth. That is brave.
Q: Can you talk about how you first started making art?
A: For as long as I can remember I wanted to be an artist. If I could possibly choose to be something else I would, but I can't. I would not be happy doing anything else. To be an artist means to give up a lot. It is a sacrifice. There are days that I want to stop making art, for sure. But to those of you who are artists or want to be artists, my best advice is to let your art save you. When you are feeling down or like you do not know where to turn, turn to your work.
-- Lara Jo Hightower
NAN What's Up on 03/03/2019