VOICE, a performance art movie is in the house

I have made autobiographical art about mental illness for twenty five years, including sculpture and solo theatre. One of my friends and theatre collaborators told me I’ve made so much art about it that I’ve almost cured myself of bipolar disorder. By the time I began working on VOICE, a performance art movie, it wasn’t autobiographical anymore. I was able to make surrealistic fiction about a middle-class woman who is so clueless about mental health that she is too embarrassed to tell her therapist that she was treated for an eating disorder as a young woman; a woman who is so out of touch with her inner self that her psychoses leave the planet without her. Also, the woman has had artist’s block since college – that’s not me! When the movie opens, she is a shell and her life has fallen apart.

I could never let my life fall apart like my character does. That’s not in my makeup. But I could also never let myself be vulnerable and as open to change as she is. I envy her vulnerability. I’m sure I’ve BEEN as vulnerable as anyone else; but as soon as I FEEL vulnerable, unlike the character in my movie, I become aggressive instead of falling apart.

This year, VOICE made me what is probably one of the best friends I’ve ever had. Her response to the movie has me in tears every time I think about it because she made it so personal. I believe that a work of art is not completed by its maker, but instead continues to be made by its viewers.

Years ago I toured a solo show about me and a mean voice that started inside my head when I was 8 years old. In the show, I play myself and the voice fighting constantly for control. When you’ve been living like that for 40 years, you can’t help but have a sense of humor or you’ll REALLY go crazy. But my audiences were usually dead silent in what I thought were the most deadly funny parts of my show until one night at the Midnight Sun in Olympia, Washington when the 15 schizophrenic outpatients I’d sold discounted tickets to, laughed so hard that I kept having to stop the show and I forgot some of my lines. That was art continuing in the viewer. My BFF making me cry about her response to VOICE is art continuing in the viewer.

A movie that I greenscreened by myself in my livingroom about a bipolar woman in therapy whose psychoses abandon her for outer space was such catharsis that I have to let it go – I have to let it continue. Thanks to Onlineum for spurring me to expedite subtitles so that VOICE could be part of Onlineum’s launch this past week.

VOICE, a performance art movie is in the house. https://youtu.be/SGJ4LnEDW2s

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VOICE, a performance art movie (English subtitles) is playing on Onlineum

I am so happy that the new online museum, Onlineum, is featuring my performance art movie VOICE through November 23, 2017. ‘A bipolar woman’s psychoses begin touring outer space …’ @ http://www.onlineum.com/exhibitions/

Sylvia Toy Art Films on Etsy – New Slideshow of Production Stills

Sylvia Toy Art Films. DVDs are available on Etsy.

Honorable Mention for VOICE, A PERFORMANCE ART MOVIE

honorablemention-laundergroundfilmforum-2016I was expecting a rejection today, but it was not quite. You can make a crazy movie in your living room about being bipolar with your psychoses in outer space; and get an honorable mention in a cool film festival in LaLaLand!

VOICE, Director’s Statement by Sylviatoyindustries (Color/Stereo, 09:57, 2016 USA)

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Still, VOICE Director’s Statement

VOICE, A PERFORMANCE ART MOVIE was 3-year long project. Pre-production began the summer of 2013 after my homeless neighbor George’s middle of the night arguments with his voice named “Robert” woke me up every night for weeks. I cannot get back to sleep in the summer because summer is bipolar season for me and I go manic.

While I wondered as I always do by the beginning of July whether I would ever get any sleep again or instead would feel 125 mph forever, I started listening to what my neighbor and Robert were saying. Robert was angry and aggressive; George would plead with him to leave him alone and often cry, then try to fight back, and finally, as the arguments grew shorter over the passing days, by morning George would be saying over and over, “I love you, I love you, I love you.” George had won. He had coped with demon Robert and won himself back. It was a powerful lesson.

VOICE, a performance art web series: Episode 3 (complete), free streaming thru September 2016

 

Voice Part Three 850013436In September 2016, I turn age 65. I have been trying to decide what special thing to do or acquire to celebrate my first old lady birthday. I make art every day – that’s my dayjob. What else could be more special? Because there’s nothing that could make me any happier than being able to make art every day all day long, I will do the giving rather than be given to.

From today through the end of September Episode 3 of VOICE, a performance art web series will be free to watch on this Facebook page. This was the episode when I stopped having panic attacks about continuity every day & started having fun making the movie.

 

Artist’s Statement, August 23, 2016

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I have decided to put my movie project “Killer Jane” on hold. In order to make “Jane,” I would have to raise cash through a campaign and or grantwriting, hire actors and, probably, shoot out of town.

Even though I have been ambitious and pro-hyper-active all my adult life, I think no matter how much fun production was (and it would be if I got to work with two of the actors whom I’ve already talked to), no matter how good it looked, no matter how much recognition it got, it would make me miserable and unhealthy; and it would probably take me at least a year to recover.

I was so bipolar for so long this year (about 10 weeks from May 24th-August 10th) that I had to minimalize my life. I pared down my projects, stayed indoors most days, and even stayed in bed until noon a few times just as I would if I had a cold.

No medication has ever worked for me for very long. However, I have been extremely lucky in having talented therapists who recognized I am able to self-modify, and who worked with me on that. Self-modification and stress management. That usually keeps me from getting way too crazy. I believe that even if you are hard to medicate, if you have a strong constitution to begin with, can self-discipline, are glass-half-full – you’re just going to fare better.

Minimalizing my life seems to have worked; and in spite of waking up crazy every day, I did not have horrible stress like I usually do when I’m sick for almost 3 months. I am so happy right now in spite of being limited. I can’t help but wonder how much misery my ambition has caused me and people around me because I am sometimes sick from February into September. This morning it occurred to me that I should continue this daily vigilance, just like (if medication worked for me) I would keep taking my medication!!!

I will happily and solitarily (except for shoots with my husband) continue to greenscreen mythological performance art, which is my ongoing passion. We will see what happens.