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.


Holly Timpener has performed in Berlin at Month of Performance Berlin, N.Y.U Berlin, SOMA Gallery and Gallery Art Von Frie. Stride Gallery (Calgary AB, 2015) hosted her/their performative installation as part of the “ManWoman” retrospective and her/their Sled Island Festival performance. Timpener has performed at the Nuit Blanche festival (Calgary 2015 & Toronto 2015) and at The Art Gallery of Ontario (2014 & 2016). She/They were invited to perform at Hierve El Agua (2015) in Mexico and a filmed performance was screened at Espacio Centro (Oaxaca). In 2017, Timpener was invited by La Pocha Nostra to perform with them for their Montreal showing of “Uroborus” at Montreal Arts Interculturels. Her/Their work was recently featured in “Emergency INDEX: Volume 6, An Annual Documentation of Performance Practice” and the performance pedagogy book “THE 7TH SENSE” by TouVA collective. In 2018, Timpener completed a 3-day showing at the Rhubarb Festival (Toronto), performed at RIPA (Montreal), and created work with VestAndPage in correlation with the International Performance Art Week. 2019 began with an invitation to present work for Anti-Conference hosted at York University and teaching a workshop with her/their collective NO OBJECT at the University of Toronto’s International Sex Week. Timpener is looking forward to working with La Pocha Nostra again this summer in Encuentro (Mexico) and the Paseo festival (Taos, NM) creating new queer political performances. 

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