Born in Toronto, Canada. Melissa Koziebrocki is a multi-disciplinary Feminist Artist whose performance based art practice focuses on the body as the physical site for trauma. Koziebrocki’s art practice broaches questions of identity and tackles systems of oppression that opens up space for dialogue concerning daily performances of feminist, patriarchal violence and queer issues. She approaches this problematic subject matter in a satirical manner, using the tactics of kitsch intervention and Misandrist humour, presented under the conventions of high art. Her activist practice is irreverent and anti-authoritarian. It subverts normative notions around gender and patriarchy and exposes the injustice of the status quo enforced by a male centered system. Costuming and set design inform her practice: whether that takes form as a site specific performance installation, a photograph, a mixed media collaged intervention or a painting.
Participating Exhibitions and curatorial projects include the Rhubarb Festival (2015), Process Performance Art Series(2014), 101 Vaginas (2014), Feminist Art Conference (2014), Bend Over: Images of Gender Exploitation (2013), The Figure Show (2013); Meat Curtains (2013), Please Copy Us Forever (2011), The House that Masons Built (2010), and A Soft-Core Peephole (2010).
She has previously worked in the offices of Art in General, Justina M. Barnike Gallery, Art Gallery of York University, Inside Out Film Festival, Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts and National Museums of Kenya.
She has a Bachelors in Art History from McGill University, a Bachelor of Fine Art from OCAD University, and has a Masters of Museum Studies from University of Toronto.
What do you hope to accomplish during the residency?
During the FAC Residency, my proposed project, Too Much Testosterone, will use the physical island as the landscape for the artist to perform and imprint masculinity rituals. This performance based ritual will act as a commentary on patriarchy and who gets to perform it and who has to bend to it. I will use the residency and studio space to research into masculinity rituals and to embody them in co-relation to the typically feminized nature of the Toronto Island.
For instance, destruction is an opportunity to propel the creation of something new. Reflecting on my own feminist experience, it is possible to create and perform alternate identities that obscure oneself from revealing any vulnerability. With certain individuals with traumatic histories, unfamiliar moments of intimidation (otherwise known as survival situations) can lead to dissociative states and the creation of an alter ego. Different alters appear based on their ability to deal with specific situational stresses or threats. One host personality may be an arrogant testosterone-filled protector warrior. This guarded alter will arrive into the uninhibited escapist landscape of Artscape Gibralar Point in an altered state of performativity. There the embodied artist will engage in and document site specific interactions with visitors and their collective histories with the historic landscape. Eventually, during this process of navigating the residency while physically being constrained by these metaphorical defenses and any literal armour, said masculine armour will be ritualistically stripping-down or purged through a performative integration into the rich visual landscape and history of the Toronto Island, inspiring the rebirth of an authentic being.
Find out more about Melissa Koziebrocki!