Alexis O’Hara is a transdisciplinary artist whose work comprises elements of cabaret, pop music, spoken-word, stand-up comedy, vocals and electronics, photography and installation. The eclecticism of her work attracts international programmers from various disciplines. She has presented work in Scotland, Austria, Mexico, Germany, Belgium, France, England, Ireland, Slovenia, Australia, Finland, Denmark, Brazil, Monaco, Serbia, Switzerland, the U.S. and across Canada. She lives and works in Montreal.
Straddling the divide between experimental electronic music and the blackest comedy, I have painted narrative atmospheres with my voice, a gaggle of electronic friends and the chimerical properties of electricity. I have worn clothing that runs on batteries. I am fascinated with the potential resurrection of garbage. I am not afraid of the F word. Let’s say it together: Feminist.
I am very committed to social projects, even as they engage uncomfortable pathways in my conditioning. That is to say: despite what my acting training might betray, I am an introvert: shy and awkward around adult humans.
My practice is an exploration of variables from within a constructed set of conditions. My interest is to service the audience without being beholden to the notion of ‘pleasing’. I strive to create moments, housed in the loaded context of the spectacle, that provoke connections and disconnections between the public and the performer. Within improvisation lies the omnipresent possibility of error and failure, circumstances in which the spectator is invariably refocused with a present-minded awareness. The saga of failure and recovery, analogous as they are to the human condition, is far more interesting to me than perfection and its ensuing bravado. As for humour, its ability to disarm is legend. As an auto-didact, I am engaged with the principles of do-it-yourself, availabism and error. If necessary, I will do things the wrong way, repeatedly.
While I am a sucker for a good pop hook, I am equally interested in making non-musical music, exploring off vocal work, electrical feedback and the exploitation of “bad” sounds. I work with sound because it is extro-visual medium that allows the spectators’ imaginations to run wild.
Interdisciplinarity is a bitch, you are always crashing the party. And yet, I couldn’t have it any other way. The power of the inappropriate is immensely gratifying.