Submissions for the Converse/Dazed Emerging Artists Award 2012 have now closed. Entries have been whittled down to a four-person shortlist by our esteemed judges (practicing artists Jeremy Deller, Kirsty Ogg, James Early and Yuri Pattinson, gallerist Magnus Edensvard, critic Nancy Durrant and Dazed's own Francesca Gavin).
Last week we spoke to finalist Manila-born Pio Abad. For the second in a series of profiles of the shortlisted artists, we met London-based American artist Leslie Kulesh, whose sculptures, installations and performances satirise the fashion world’s adoption of green technology. Through the use of a fictional, HD reality-TV star, Kulesh also poses wider questions about the culture of celebrity.
We asked Kulesh what she’s planning for the finalists' forthcoming group show, which takes place at a Whitechapel Gallery-attached venue in east London’s Osborn Street, and what she plans to do with the £6,000 prize money if she wins…
Dazed Digital: What is your work about?
Leslie Kulesh: I deeply believe the adage 'the personal is political’. By using everyday scenarios in my performances and capitalising on satire, I find ways to talk about environmentalism, late technology and feminism. By questioning little things – like how a website keeps running, or who it is that authors the characters in a video game – I can re-humanise daily occurrences we might otherwise overlook.
DD: Can you talk us through the work you'll be producing for the show at Osborn Street?
Leslie Kulesh: For now, that's a secret!
DD: Should you win the prize, what do you plan to do with the money?
Leslie Kulesh: I would pour it into my practice and realise some of the larger sculptures I've dreamed up, and I'd treat all the friends that have been performing alongside and supporting me to a big dinner and a lot of wine!
Film by Romano Pizzichini