KISS OFF part one is an endurance performance dealing with my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and my love of color and all things makeup. I own exactly 40 tubes of lipstick (I am a smoker so I rarely wear the stuff). I am at heart a hoarder. I love color but have never been able to paint in a conventional manner. Up to this point I have used my face as a canvas. Mass media told me to do it after all! For this performance I will attempt to use 20 of my lipsticks (ten per 100x 63 inch canvas). Each day I work I will apply lipstick and kiss the canvas until the one tube is depleted. (KISS OFF part two TBA) This is my first public endurance performance since my senior thesis work at Linfield College during the 1998-1999 school year. It is a return to a time in my life where I was more willing to be public. I am pleased to be doing this performance in the Nils Lou Memorial Gallery as Nils was my art grandpappy.
I love tarting myself up for my own pleasure and for the public though I am quite reclusive and rarely engage in this activity. There are design and expression elements in the act. There is also power. This work, for me, is not a feminist piece in the more obvious and traditional senses implied by the action, but rather a symbolic cleansing of objects. The endurance performance and repetitive activity required within are indulging a part of my OCD, whereas the disposal of said objects eschews it. I am already plotting certain re-acquisitions.
I ask the viewer to look at the act itself---the constant making oneself up physically, then kissing it away. I will never stop presenting myself to the world in whatever way I see fit, knowing that much of my self-presentation is copied and copy-able from media imagery of women. I love/hate this phenomenon but love wins every time. The collecting of color through such charged objects by way of my OCD certainly demonstrates what our culture has deemed desirable for women AND men. I have been taken hook, line and sinker.
KISS OFF is also about failure, a concept deep in the heart of all of my work. This project was hatched quickly and the show came even quicker still. It is bringing my usually private endurance performance activities into the public sphere. I don’t know the end to this story though there is the lofty ideal. Physical limitations may win out before my time is up. It’s a wait and see sort of thing. Failure in art is often just masked success. Process is the product.
Bremer’s work is by nature a concept to process. A grandiose scheme is hatched, and just enough technique is acquired to bring the idea to life, often taking the artist years to complete a body of work. Her projects range in technique but are always highly personal and self-revelatory. Endurance performance, the grid, mental illness, failure, repetition and the one-liner are central themes to the work. The current performance at Linfield College signifies the need to be more immediate in her work and to engage in a community setting rather than Bremer’s usual reclusive style. It is a new beginning.
Tamera Bremer was born in Great Falls, Montana in 1977. She received her B.A. in Studio Art with a minor in Philosophy from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon in 1999. She was awarded her M.F.A. in Performance at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003. Her work has been exhibited in numerous Chicago venues including the Betty Rhymer Gallery, Daley Plaza, The Dollhouse, School of High Heels, as well as shows at the Miller Fine Arts Center (McMinnville, Oregon), the Alpern Gallery and Gallery 5 (Portland, Oregon).