For the first of our Faces Meet... interviews we spoke to Katy, who is taking a show called Baby Face to Edinburgh Fringe this summer. At Silent Faces we are all about shows that have an opinion, or rather, have a bone to pick, axe to grind, or statement to make about anything, whether we agree or not. We also love talking to the people that make that kind of work, so it was great to chat to Katy about Baby Face and why theatre is a great place for feminist discussion.
Tell us a bit about you as a performer/theatre-maker
I am an artist from the uk who works with performance and visual art. I am interested in iconography, materiality and entertainment. I always seek to connect to physical sensation and tactility when making work. From dance performances in nightclubs, to photographic stills, I am interested in the joy and subversion of creating art and bringing this to audiences. I have been involved in a broad range of projects, from public processions to pub quiz events. I make work about all sorts of things that interest me about the world today, and right now much of what I am making explores the moral conscience of society. www.katy-dye.com
What drove you to make Baby Face?
The main reason I was driven to make this performance was because I was fascinated by many of the double standards and hypocrisy that we see in our culture today. More than at any point in history we are hyper aware of the safety of young people, yet at the same time we are constantly confronted with this sexualised images of children and young people. It was this unspoken hypocrisy that drew me towards infantilisation of women. In many ways I have childlike attributes to my body, which is seen as a massive 'tick' in terms of modern day beauty ideals. I wanted to explore what would happen if I pose this question as a performance, emphasising childlike qualities and how much we might not like to admit that we use an infantile way of being and appearing to get what we want, especially in inter personal relationships. I was interested in exploring moral conscience and the amoral nature of desire when it comes to the infantilisation of women, and what this says about our culture today.
Why is theatre such a great place for feminist discussion?
Theatre is a great place for feminist discussion, because it is a place for moulding/shaping and creating a new image of women. It is not by words, but action that move us forward as a society and change who we are. Performance is about action and physically being present in the same space, witnessing and imagining. Throughout history women have been viewed as passive/non speaking/non acting object. Therefore theatre is one of the most powerful art forms for feminist discussion because women are using their voices/bodies on their own terms, and being seen as active/physical three dimensional humans who shape their own destiny.
What was the last show you saw that you think everyone should see?
Pauline Goldsmith's 'Bright Colours Only', which is a show about death and how we make sense of our mortality. The show takes the form of an Irish wake, and It is a very funny and moving piece. Pauline is an amazing performer so its all round very enjoyable.
What else in the Edinburgh Fringe programme are you excited to see?
VOID by Mele Broomes, an experimental dance performance which is on at Summerhall, based on JG Ballard's novel Concrete Island. Mele is an incredible physical performer, and the piece seems to be highly visual, drawing from industrial dystopias. I definitely want to make it to this!
Baby Face is on at Summerhall, 1-26th August at 1.30pm.