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Friday, April 15 • 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Interview: Wynne Greenwood, Tracy + The Plastics, Interviewed by Maria Buszek

Seattle-based artist Wynne Greenwood, better-known in music circles as Tracy + The Plastics, has been giving voice to feminist and queer politics by way of her eclectic practice for over a decade.  In her performances as Tracy + The Plastics, “members” of the band—slightly bossy front woman Tracy, contentious keyboardist Nikki, and spaced-out percussionist Cola, who “play all the instruments and sing” on the band’s albums—appear in live performances as Greenwood performing as Tracy onstage, awkwardly, hilariously interacting with Nikki and Cola as pre-recorded video projections. Between 1999 and 2006 Tracy + The Plastics performed in venues ranging from punk clubs to theaters to the Whitney Museum, and the “band” was recently revisited as part of Greenwood’s 2015 residency at New York City’s New Museum of Contemporary Art.

Greenwood has written of the band’s underlying goal: “A Tracy + the Plastics performance attempts to destroy the hierarchical dynamics of mass media’s say/see spaces by placing as much importance on the video images (the plastics) as the live performer (Tracy).” And, between the stilted, silence-laden on-stage “banter” of Greenwood in her various permutations and the pointedly open stage set-up, wherein the performance occupies a space that bleeds out into the seating, this hierarchy-destroying approach extends to artist-audience dynamics as the viewers are similarly encouraged to blur the line between who is there to “say” and who is there to “see.” And, in Greenwood’s many projects since—in recordings, videos, installations, collaborations with the LTTR collective and, most recently, her Kelly project at The New Museum—she has explored the role of diverse, overlapping, contradictory voices in the activist communities of which she is a part.

In this interview with art historian Maria Elena Buszek, Greenwood address the multiple “voices” she applies and mines, the relevance of music and club culture, and both the pleasures and problems of hybridity in her work, as well as screen examples of her performances and music videos.

avatar for Maria Elena Buszek

Maria Elena Buszek

Maria Elena Buszek is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Colorado, Denver, where she teaches courses on modern and contemporary art. Her recent publications include the books Pin-Up Grrrls: Feminism, Sexuality, Popular Culture and Extra/Ordinary: Craft and Contemporary... Read More →


Wynne Greenwood

Wynne Greenwood is a queer feminist performance artist and educator who works in various media such as installation art, photography, filmmaking and music. Greenwood’s work has been performed and exhibited extensively, including at The New Museum, The Kitchen, NYC, The Tate Modern... Read More →

Friday April 15, 2016 1:00pm - 1:50pm PDT
JBL Theater