Lea Cetera

On November 18, 2014, Lea Cetera came to visit my class taught by Ben Bigelow. She's actually inspired a piece that I performed in December 2014 for a final. Any ways, I reached out to her with more questions and I thought it might be nice to share.

Lea Cetera 'Observational Comedy' 2014

EST: Was critique helpful during your graduate years and what is the role of critique after school for you?

LEA CETERA: Yes, critique is always helpful, and was especially during grad school, however, it is arguable as to whether certain critiques were helpful ;) Critique after school is hard(er) to find, as it's hard to find a concentrated group of individuals committed to an hour or maybe more of discussion of one's work. I would like to start up a critique group, I've always thought this would be a nice thing to do within my shared studio space.

EST: What is your research like? Could you send me some introductory writings/links?

LEA CETERA: My research can range from YouTube video trolling to trips to the library, to watching movies, and going to see art, movies, performances, etc. pretty average, but i'd probably have to say the internet is a huge method by which I do most of my research. (which i feel is pretty common these days). People that I've been reading or thinking about lately are Franco Bifo Berrardi, Chris Kraus, always Brecht and have been having fun brushing up on Marx lately with this reading group I joined on Capital. However I've always been a good student, but not the best, so I just tend to follow my nose and do more project based research as I come across subjects that take my interest!

EST: What is your process for creating performances?

LEA CETERA: My process for creating performance is pretty planned out, when i worked collaboratively, we would just bounce ideas off each other until we had a show, and then we built it and performed it. Now, since i've been working solo, i start with an idea or something that i can't shake, something that usually has been following me for a while, and then i try to make it happen. I've only recently begun writing dialogue more seriously, something that i've been scared of before, but more and more becomes urgent and important to me.

EST:Are you entertaining your audience and/or yourself? What is humor in art for you?

LEA CETERA: I'm not sure if I try to write to entertain anyone, it's more like i'm writing because it's more like i have ideas that i need to express, so I guess it is more for myself, and then sometimes people are entertained i guess. I really like humor, and most of my idols are stand up comedians or comedic writers/performers. To me that is the most powerful ability, to stand in front of a crowd of people and talk until you've made them laugh, in one of my collaborative shows we did a vaudevillian-type show that was the closest we got to writing comedy, and when the audience laughed at certain moments it was the best feeling, like you've all just taken off in flight in an airplane.

EST: Do you plan on exhibiting outside of a gallery space or non-white cube space?

LEA CETERA: At this point I have probably performed in most every kind of venue, from black box theaters to bars, to galleries, the street, and museums. I feel the safest in black box theaters and theater environments, so yeah, i would love to perform again in that context.