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Interview with Lisa Pereira

Earlier this week I posted an email interview with Matt Crookshank, who is showing with Lisa Pereira at Gallery 61 until July 3. This is the interview with her I mentioned would be upcoming. I first met Lisa two years ago, the same night that Andrew Harwood asked me to be part of the Michael Jackson show that he curated with Lex Vaughan and which got a lot of press. In almost every review - which seemed to be in every paper - Lisa's video was mentioned, which was a surprising accomplishment for someone who at the time had told me wasn't sure if she'd flunked out of OCAD or not. (In the end she did have to take a year off due to academic probation, and is due to graduate next year).

Lisa's video consists of porn culled from various sources and as I describe below, a sampling of different perversions and fetishes. The most amazing thing about it for me was that I learned that it is possible for someone to fuck themselves.

Here's her PR:

12 Signs of the Apocalypse Lisa Pereira 2005
This video provides 12 Zodialogical pearls of wisdom and is the Kama
Sutra of the 21st century (and not as boring). Like a diver finding
a filthy oyster at the bottom of a sewage treatment plant, this video
will certainly pay off in the long run (whatever that means).

And given that we have Google Ads running on this site, I think I should mention that whatever twisted links come up via the keywords in this post are to be followed at your own risk.

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Your video piece, described as a Kama Sutra for the 21st Century, really seems to be a exploration of what most people call perverse. Indeed, many people didn't want to watch your video twice, although I question what kind of wild stuff they might have on their hardrives. Do you think that the reluctance to watch your video more than once has more to do with not wanting to experience perversion in public, amongst others, or because they were really turned off and disgusted?

With regards to why people may only watch my video once I can only suggest the following two scenarios:

1.) People don't really watch the same thing twice (particularly video art which is often difficult enough the first time around).

2.) People feel compelled to mimic disgust in front of each other, lest the public assume that they are familiar with, or even enjoy, the particular sex acts described in the video.

I don't think the material in the video is disgusting nor do I care whether people think I participate in the activities illustrated. They probably think I do, because a lot of people have asked me which sign I am. For the record I'm a Leo, the fisting sign.

And, I'm sure there will be some people who might be turned on by some of the footage and feel the need to have a jerk off about it later on and I think that's swell.

The found footage in the video is stuff I downloaded off the internet. Anyone with access to a computer has access to the same images. The things I shot myself are so over-the-top and unbelievable that it's more funny (I hope) then disgusting.

Your cynical approach comes off as an intelligent response rather than just being a wanker, which is a fine balancing act that you pull off well. I find myself amused by your work rather than annoyed. But I wonder, would you ever see yourself making bourgeois-beauty Sarah-McLachlan-like videos featuring flowers and fairies? Or are you committed to exposing the sick underbelly of society forever?

I don't like Sarah McLachlan or the kind of lame aesthetic her music videos ape, but if I were offered some cash, would I make that kind of work? You bet.

I wouldn't necessarily be good at it but if the price were right why not? I would take that money and put it into the stuff that I really wanted to make. Better me then some other lame director who's gonna take that kind of shit seriously and then make some horrible 'art film' that I will undoubtedly have to sit through at an equally boring film festival.

And if you knew some of the jobs I've had, in the grand scheme of things, making bad music videos would be one of the least evil things I've had to do. Who knows, maybe there's some way I could slip in a few subliminal messages. Like those Coke machines with naked ladies on them.

Anyway, people who work on Canadian music videos get paid in peanuts, probably in Sara McLachlan's case I'd get paid in free maxis, those horrible pillow-like ones you get at the dollar store so I'd probably say no fucking way you stupid, stupid bitch.

Do you consider it sick at all?

There are sicker things out there. During the making of that video I watched a lot of shit eating. And I'm not talking about a nibble on some cute little poodle poo in Pink Flamingos, I'm talking about squatting over some girl's mouth and emptying your bowels into her eager craw. And I couldn't put it in the video. Not because it was revolting (which it was) but because I just couldn't make it funny. I'm not trying to shock people and gross them out. I'm just interested in people's sick and disgusting turn-ons.

I can see why a lot of those things might be sexy to someone even though they don't directly turn me on. I don't think sex shocks people anymore. Shit eating is sick but it's kind of funny to think about. It's unpleasant for me and maybe other people because I don't find anything sexy about it but obviously someone does because there is no shortage of shit sex sites on the internet and elsewhere so someone's paying for this stuff and it isn't just perverts like me (besides, I found a all of it for free). Faking it was way funnier then actually seeing it.

You've made other work that seems to explore perversion - notably your vampire video featuring the liver. Why are you interested in the degradations of sex (as opposed to celebrating it or whatever else one might do?)

The vampire film was actually a cannibal film called Lesbian Cannibal (get it? she "eats" her out). There are already a lot of crappy Hollywood movies that celebrate love and sex and romance and all that stuff. Crappier still are the Hollywood movies that are supposed to be titillating and controversial but don't discuss sex in a way that people do all the time.

Also, if one wants to jerk off, there are a variety of websites and video and magazine stores to provide you with countless hours of beat-off material. That video was about having casual sex in the midst of post-aids tension, where a single encounter could potentially kill you, but then I didn't want to make some tragic piece about living with aids.

Matching up perversions with the signs of the zodiac was a really good idea. Was it inspired by something real? Like, where you ever involved with a nasty Pisces?

The use of the zodiac is actually based on a record called Blowfly Zodiac. For each Zodialogical sign Blowfly rearranges classic soul tracks so that they are very sexually explicit and funny. It's a sweet little record. I don't know anything about astrology but I liked the idea of making arbitrary connections to each sign according to some weird sex thing I was thinking about. For a mix tape of Blowfly email me at lisa@sisboombah.ca

Tim what sign are you?

I'm Aquarius

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Diamonds in the Ruff continues at Gallery 61 (61 Ossington Ave) until July 3. Gallery hours: fri 7-10pm, sat 1-6pm or by appointment.

Image from the invite


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