Katy Dye explores the infantilisation of women in BABY FACE at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
My name is Katy and I am an artist who works with performance. I am interested in iconography, materiality and entertainment, and especially seek to connect to physical sensation when making work. I have been working in performance for a couple of years since studying on the Contemporary Performance Practice course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Since this time I have been involved in a broad range of projects, from public processions to pub quiz events, to creating club dance pieces. I also enjoy collaborating with photographers to document performances in interesting ways. I am very interested in live art because I am inspired by performance as a creative medium – and the freedom and choices there are for working in this way. You can find out more here – www.katy-dye.com.
Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
Baby Face explores the infantilisation of women. We live in an age where paedophilia is not ok, yet fetishised images of women as pre-pubescent girls are. In many ways I have childlike attributes to my body, which is seen as a massive ‘tick’ in terms of modern day beauty ideals. Baby Face is a solo performance that involves dancing, sound and myself mixing the childlike and sexual to ask if innocence really is a sexy/attractive quality – and why we use this infantile way of being and appearing to get what we want, especially in inter personal relationships. The show explores the moral conscience and the amoral nature of desire when it comes to the infantilisation of women, and what this says about our culture today. It is the winner of Summerhall’s Autopsy Award 2018.
How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
The first version of this show was created in 2015, and since this time I have performed the piece in various incarnations, so it has been about three years since I first started thinking about the ideas of the piece and trying stuff out with it – it’s been through different shapes and stages. The show explores double standards and hypocrisy which is what makes it relevant to audiences in 2018. More than at any point in history we are hyper aware of the safety of young people, yet at the same time we are constantly confronted with sexualised images of children and young people. This is an unspoken hypocrisy and I feel it is particularly relevant to our times. The #metoo movement has also given the performance a new relevance, as the performance also asks how to be loved – and the existentialist crisis of not knowing how to be loved today, which I think relates to much of the conversation around #metoo.
Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
I have not done the Fringe before, but I have been told that in terms of surviving – getting a massage at a spa in Edinburgh can be good!
What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
I once did a performance that relied on bunting coming out of my clothes… needless to say, the bunting all got stuck- which was quite embarrassing as it then involved me desperately trying to get it out and getting a bit tangled up in the process!
Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
The performance artist Ann Liv Young – because I love the way she approaches performance as something that is not perfect and completely live.
Split Britches – because I enjoy the way they can create a warm and generous environment/feeling of community surrounding an event, and also the way they work with text and autobiography.
Lucy McCormick – I saw her Triple Threat, and the movement and comedy in the show was incredible – really allowed the audience to be entertained and emotional too.
Tracey Emin – because she has fully invested herself in her work and has so many different forms of creation. I enjoy how even a simple drawing/video piece is a pure form of expression for her.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
More recently I have tried to give myself as little space to think about what I am going to do as possible. I like to be as calm as possible and find space to be on my own and very quiet!
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
I am looking forward to seeing VOID by Mele Broomes and My Right Left Foot The Musical by Birds of Paradice and NTS.
Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the Fringe?
Baby Face is a highly subversive and physical performance for an audience, featuring striking imagery. It will hopefully be a show that will grab hold of your senses and also entertain you, at the same time as thinking about dark and complex subject matter.
Summerhall (Demonstration Room), Summerhall Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1PL
Wednesday 1st – Sunday 26th August 2018 (not 5th, 13th, 20th), 13:30
Twitter: @katydye1, @summerhallery, #babyfacedfringe