Interview with Emily Promise Allison
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, September 20th, 2018
Q: Why / when / how did you start to work with performance, what is your background, how did you arrive at doing performance?
Why performance: It’s my first language.
When did I start performance: My earliest memory is from when I made an experiment as a performer at 5 years old.
How did I start performance: At an early age I developed relationships with materials through touch which led to a belief that objects could influence my physical presence. Through these interactions and imaginings, I learned that I could give new meanings to common settings in my life.
What is my background: Preferably a seamless Chroma key green fabric, or a sky with puffy clouds.
How did I arrive at doing performance: I met a very special person who encouraged and supported my ways of thinking. His name is BBB Johannes Deimling.
Q: What is your process like when you make a performance, from idea to actual work?
I have a dream in the night or I make a drawing of an imaginary scene.
I only briefly experiment with materials - like a chemist might with various elements.
I use intuition as a primary tool.
Q: Can you tell about your latest project?
I am developing a high energy Abstract Thinking class that I teach to my students who are between 6 and 10 years old.
Q: What role does performance art have in your life / artistic praxis? Do you also work within other fields, like installation, sculpture, drawing, and other expressions? How do they influence / inform each other?
Role of performance art in my life: It is the most joyful way that I can communicate my purest self.
Role of performance art in my artistic praxis: There is a subtle division between my life and my art - performance is a mentality that is built into the way I see the world.
Q: With what kind of form / material do you express yourself and use in your work and how did you arrive at using this material? (
Form/material: In my imagination my body dissolves. I become an activator of materials. I adjust and arrange objects like players on a stage. I always use different tools. I do not want to know how I will introduce the players, or what they will say to each other before they meet.
Q: How do you experience or consider the audience / surrounding? What space / surrounding do you find interesting to work in? How does your surrounding influence your work? Do you involve the public? If so, how?
Experiencing the audience: I regard an audience as an essential entity and friend.
Considering the audience: I will often consider myself as an audience to my own work so that we all might become a singular source, not knowing what to expect.
Interesting spaces to work in: Up very, very high or on water.
Surroundings influencing work: If I am alone my imagination is strong. If I am in the company of others I am consumed by excitement to ask questions about their lives. If I am with animals I work best.
How do I involve the public: I treat the public as a powerful tool and utilize it rarely, so that its strength does not fade when I need it most.
Q: Make your own question, and answer it.
What make little bursts of joy for you? Love, flowers, lightning.