AboutMusic, fashion and art are indistinguishable in the multifaceted practice of Chicks on Speed. Their sculptural objects often function as a tool, an instrument or a prop in stage shows and gallery performances that fuse the vernacular of contemporary pop and the early 20th century avant-garde. For HAPPENING they present their recently invented E-shoes wearable guitars with sensory strings that produce amplified wireless sound for foot-flying gigs and Cigar Box Synthesizers, found cigar boxes adapted into functioning synthesizers to be played in large orchestral setups.
Wrapped around the gallery's walls is a tapestry that was made on a loom built into the stage at the recent Chicks on Speed exhibition at Dundee Contemporary Arts. The pattern has been derived from a speaker system and abstracted then produced manually during the show, thereby compacting traditional and current technologies, sound and vision, craft and durational performance.
Chicks on Speed is a collective of artists who operate through a membership based in cities around the world. Just as they transgress disciplinary boundaries, they move between places, their dispersal enabling an organic network of performers, designers and manufacturers that mirrors the contingent resourcefulness of global economies. Their aesthetic of ripped-up references, distorted quotation and borrowed methods evokes the energies of Dadaism, punk and radical activism, while their no-nonsense approach to self-display, sensory pleasure and forthright femininity places them squarely in the post-feminist camp, where what the lady wants, the lady gets on and does.
CHICKS ON SPEED formed when Melissa Logan (born USA, 1970, lives and works in Hamburg and New York) met Alex Murray-Leslie (born Australia, 1970, lives and works in Barcelona/Sydney) in 1997. For this exhibition Chicks on Speed have collaborated with Anat Ben-David (London), Merché Blasco (New York/Barcelona), Kathi Glas (Berlin), Nadine Jessen (Hamburg), Krà µà µt Juurak (Vienna/Estonia), Faustine Kopiejwski (Paris), A.L. Steiner (New York), Morwenna Garrick, Steve Dawson and Oliver Horton (London).
The E-shoe was developed with shoe designer Max Kibardin, Milan and the Cigar Box Synthesizers with Diego de Leon and Alejandro Bizzotto, Befaco, Barcelona.
Works in this exhibition were made with the support of Dundee Contemporary Arts and were exhibited as part of Don't Art, Fashion, Music, 5 June - 8 August 2010. Chicks on Speed are included in Figura Cuncta Videntis (the all-seeing eye) / Homage to Christoph Schlingensief, at Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna until 16 April 2011.
Don't Art, Fashion, Music, published by Dundee Contemporary Arts and Booth-Clibborn will be launched in London at the Private View.