When I look in the mirror I am concerned that I am not myself. I am at war, struggling within the self. Red, powerfully powerless and full of power.                                                      "Why do sadness birds ."

Holly Timpener is a queer performance artist exploring themes of gender, identity, trauma, and memory within their experience as a first generation Canadian.

 

Their lived experience with Body Dysmorphic Disorder informs their work which uses the body to confront issues surrounding gender divides, expectations of gender, and the judgement placed upon physical appearance. Holly’s work challenges the perceptions and expectations surrounding the “female” body within our society. Performing using the body as an object creates the capacity to disseminate complex issues within the idea of “the personal is political” in modern socio-political context. While the “female” form is often objectified, Holly feels that with fearless intimacy and durational presentation, their naked self challenges viewers to elevate preliminary ideas of form and gain deeper insight within the work.

 

Holly works from both a personal perspective and with research collected from within their queer community with a focus on collective trauma memory. Stories and materials are collected from the queer community through One-on-One performance methodology. Holly takes these shared experiences, meditating upon them in ritualistic performative actions to seek transformation for both themselve and viewers. Through performance, they reclaim their body while reflecting on how the challenges and struggles of their identity are woven into the lived experience of being queer. Holly’s work is dedicated to creating new spaces and exploring ideas of how we can live within this world free of shame or free, transmuting our awareness within community and the individual.

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Biography 

Holly Timpener is a queer non-binary performance artist working in depth with the theme of queer trauma as they work towards a masters degree at York University. They have had the pleasure of performing at Month of Performance Berlin, Stride Gallery (Calgary AB, 2015), Nuit Blanche (Calgary 2015 & Toronto 2015) and at The Art Gallery of Ontario (2014 & 2016). They were invited to perform at Hierve El Agua (2015) in Mexico City and a filmed a performance that screened at Espacio Centro (Oaxaca). In 2017, Timpener was invited by La Pocha Nostra to perform in their Montreal showing of “Uroborus” and has continued to work with them in Encuentro (2019) and The Paseo Festival (2019). Timpener performed at RIPA (2018) and created work in Venice with VestAndPage for the International Performance Art Week (2018 & 2020). Also in 2020 Timpener performed virtually at the Drip Perfomrance Festival (Liverpool, UK) and worked with The Holy Gasp to present a 9-hour durational performance entitled Grief. Timpener is a founding member of the collective NO OBJECT. As part of Timpener's graduate thesis, they founded, directed, curated and participated in an event called Pi*llOry that began August 2019. Pi*llOry is a LGBTQI+ performance event for Queer, BIPOC and Feminist performers to showcase their works centered around the embodiment of historical trauma. For more information about Pi*llOry please follow on social media.

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