art gallery

PERFORMANCE ART + INTERVIEW

by Luke Rudman

We spoke with South African artist Luke Rudman aka @pseudellusion about the plastic pollution crisis, being stared at in public and live transformation. Enjoy!

You are currently working with Green Peace Africa on a project. Can you share anything about that collaboration and how it came to be?

I began exploring using plastic pollution to create ‘eco-art’ earlier this year. Performance art has often been used throughout history as an artistic medium that aims to challenge/question a society or provide commentary and so it made complete sense to use my own performance art to raise awareness about the plastic pollution crisis. In fact I had just presented a seminar at Nelson Mandela University on “Performance art against plastic pollution” when Green Peace Africa contacted me, asking if they could share my work and through further conversations with representatives of Green Peace Africa the collaborative project was born. I’ve been working on a body of new, unseen artworks to be released soon on both Green Peace’s platforms and my own. This project has been my most exciting to date and it feels amazing to be able to marry my love of art and the Earth in my work.

I’ve seen you mention that you would like to keep pushing yourself with your artwork in the future. What does that mean to you? Bigger pieces, bigger collabs, uncomfortable themes, different mediums, more performances, etc.?

All of the above. One of the reasons I am so drawn to performance art is that it is, and always has been, an experimental/free art form. I use performance art because of how undefined the field is, there is so much more for me to explore and so much more that I intend to do. But I have few definite long-term visions for my work. I want the freedom to be able to follow the path as it reveals itself to me and travel through the doors as they open, rather than have my heart set on a particular door that may never open.

 
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I’m a big fan of the YouTube series Transformations with James St. James. Would you ever want to do something like that or a live transformation and what would you do?

Definitely. In fact many of my live performances involve painting myself ‘live’ as part of the ‘performance’. I love the transformative process and being able to show the transformative side of my art to an audience is absolutely one of the most exhilarating parts of what I do. There is so much symbolism and depth that can be found within the process of transformation.

 
 

When do you feel most confident? Most vulnerable?

I feel my most confident and my most vulnerable when I am performing as my artworks. It’s incredibly vulnerable and exposing to stand in front of an audience, presenting yourself as something to be stared at and analysed. I don’t think I will ever be completely comfortable in that space, at least I hope not. I think there is a certain strength to be found in publicly displaying your own vulnerability like that. In another sense I am most confident when I am performing as my art. It is what I am most well-versed in and most proud of. It really is quite a strange double-edged sword of sorts…

 
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What else do you have going on in 2019/2020 and how can everyone support your art?

I am releasing my collaboration with Green Peace on August the 28th 2019 to September 7th on the @greenpeaceafrica Instagram page, be sure to check that out. I have something in the works to be released later in the year too but I until the release dates are finalised be sure to keep an eye on my pages for more updates!