GIRLS GET BUSY’S BETH SIVEYER TALKS TO GRACE MICELI…
E-Queen and artist, Grace Miceli has always been able to deliver feminism with a sense of humour. Her latest project LYLAS: A Cyberfeminist Collection S/S ‘12 is a playful series of diy fashion. With items like a gem boob tshirt and a fake period blood tie-dye boob tube, Grace proves once again that feminists can have fun too. I caught up with Grace on the internet and had a chat with her about graduating from a women’s college, feminism and nostalgia.
1. What was it like going to a women’s college and what did you study?
Attending Smith College was a really important experience for me, and I think there are numerous advantages of a women’s college. Smith taught me to value my female friendships and to increase my respect and value my peers. It’s very troubling how society & media attempt to ingrain competition between females for the attention of boys or other apparently important goals. When I got to Smith I had the chance to experience new levels of freedom. I shaved my head, stopped wearing make-up and completely focused on school and trying to figure out what I wanted. My major was Studio Art but I also took classes on film, gender studies, art history, linguistics, computer science & music.
2. What usually inspires you?
The constant re-discovery of pop culture elements that I experienced as a teenager and have saved in my memory in combination with internet/blogging/academic culture. I’m inspired by action and creation that reference nostalgia in new and not recycled ways and when I can be reminded of an aesthetic that combines both past and future. Currently I’ve been very inspired by vulnerability and tears and as always, the notion of “Whatever”.
3. Would you say you’re quite nostalgic?
When I can find humor in it. I enjoy the feelings that accompany suddenly remembering something insignificant. I know I use a lot of pop culture references from the past in my work but I think I’m trying to poke fun at what we all used to think and now again think is cool, and trying to uncover the constant cycles we can never seem to escape in fashion etc. A few years back I went to a panel on nostalgia at the Frieze Art Fair and they talked about the general understanding of nostalgia as conservative or retrogressive but with the potential to be used in a progressive way so I think I want to try and do that, but I am undecided as to whether or not I can/will.
4. Do you think your feminist personality shows in your work?
I’m not sure how it couldn’t. I try to be assertive with the inclusion of myself in my work because I want people to pay attention to me and I find myself so bored with so much artwork that aims to be abstract and minimal and expensive and clean and easy. I’m always rolling my eyes and I want that to be apparent in my work.
5. Who are your fave feminists?
I have admiration for any person who works and looks to align themselves with equality. It’s true that traditional understandings of feminism ignore significant bodies (like transwomen). So my favorite feminists are those who are totally inclusive and trying their best to acknowledge what privileges they do have while actively working to gain those not yet won. But a few women who I particularly admire include Lucy Lippard, Martha Wilson, K8 Hardy, Liz Phair, Julia Stiles, Tavi Gevinson, Lena Dunham & my mom.
6. Who are your fave designers?
It’s hard I think my personal style can drastically change every few months, but the show that I was most recently completely in love with was Blumarine Autumn/Winter 2012
7. What future projects do you have in mind?
I’m really excited to start filming my Buffy workout video once it’s closer to California weather out here in the east coast but I have lots of plans for writing television-style scripts & a young adult novel-basically to work in a more involved and bigger scale and I am looking forward to being always busy when I get to New York City in May.
8. Any of your work being exhibited in London soon?
There are a few shows in the works, but nothing official yet!