Each of the characters of Predator Songstress are explored through photographic and high definition video portraits. The first three are shown here. These first three portraits are Yamamba; a elder castaway in the mountains, Warrior; an indigenous Joan of Arc inspired character who is leading a rebellion to take back a modern city, and Gracie ; a real life powerful strip joint owner from the early sixties.
All of these portraits are portrayed by Haruko Nishimura under prosthetic make-up.
“The Dictator” is a world that appears on the surface to be a classic realm of a totalitarian state, but beneath this facade we are re-appropriating the technological tools of oppression and control such as surveillance, interrogation and data mining and using them to create an environment designed to divine the secrets of the human voice. This work deals with personal power - taking our own action in the face of the reality around us and investigating personal power in our particular time and place. (photo: Steven Miller)
The 50th anniversary of the Seattle Worlds Fair invites asking what do we do with things or beings when they grow old? There are stories of famine times in old Japan in which elders, when they became burden on their desparate families, were carried on the backs of their children to be left in the mountains to never return. In our times, our elders are tucked away in institutional mountains- we never receive their wisdom, mentorship or spiritual powers. We imagine these abandoned elders as surviving in the mountains and transforming into wonderful monsters with powers of art and sorcery. (photo: Bruce Tom)
JOAN OF ARC
In 1962 - the year of the Seattle World's Fair - the Duwamish tribe , the original inhabitants of the land on which Seattle stands, were offered a cash settlement for the land taken from them, This offer amounted to just under $70 per person. The Struggles of the indigenous people here and across the world continue. We imagine an indigenous Joan of Arc, who against all odds takes back the city and restores it to its original nature. Streams begin to once again run under our feet, holy springs re-emerge and the great cedar forests rise again. (photo: Bruce Tom)
In 1962, Gracie Hansen, Seattle's underworld madam, created Sin Alley- a series of extravagant topless revues at the Seattle Center within the World's Fair. Hansen was a powerful business woman who wielded sexual powers with joy and mischief, greeting each night 's crowd with " Hi-ya, Suckers! ". Althought she raised $90,000 for the creation of her shows and enjoyed considerable public support her shows were eventually shut down amid a puritanical outcry. Hansen later ran for Governor of Oregon. (photo: Bruce Tom)