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Wrong Love

This Valentine’s Day get involved in a sexually-charged art performance happening that transgresses every boundary

Between the perfumed smoochers and the plateau of cynical sneerers sits Wrong Love, a one-night only Valentine’s Day art event held at Liverpool’s ever-controversial A Foundation. The brain love of Texan artist Travis Street, Wrong Love offers a uniquely slanted perspective on Valentines celebrations. Armed with a tub of Himalayan bath salts and a suggestively placed rose, Dazed Digital caught up with Travis to find out just how wrong Wrong Love can be.

Dazed Digital: How wrong is Wrong Love?
Travis Street:
It’s so wrong it’s right. It’s the biggest independent live art happening in a long time. We have over 40 individual artistic contributors including live performance artists, installation artists, painters, audio artists, musicians and DJs.

Dazed Digital: Why did you call the event “Wrong Love”?
Travis Street:
It was originally “Is This Desire?” from the PJ Harvey song, but that was just too long. When I was selling it to everybody I was saying, ”we’re doing this night called Is This Desire? and it’s about sexuality and wrong love.” And that was the catcher; that was the phrase that stuck out in everybody’s minds.

Dazed Digital: Is it specifically anti-Valentines?
Travis Street:
It’s not anti-Valentines, it’s alternative Valentines. Valentines comes around every year and it’s always the same regurgitation: flowers chocolates, teddy bears. I mean, come on!

Dazed Digital: Is it against the usual Valentines smooching?
Travis Street:
There’s two sides of the coin. On the one side we’re negating commercialism and how people feel obliged to show their partner that they love them. That is wrong love, that’s what we’re pointing out. On the other side, it’s a platform for live art that deals with what society actually deems to be wrong love, such as incest, and bestiality.

Dazed Digital: So, are you both negating and offering wrong love?
Travis Street:
Yes, exactly. Smooching is allowed, just as long as they’re not doing it because they feel obliged.

Dazed Digital: What can we expect in the way of Wrong Love?
Travis Street:
We haven’t given specific detail away to anyone. It’s a happening. If you knew what to expect it wouldn’t be a surprise and it wouldn’t have the same impact.

Dazed Digital: Not even a little clue?
It’s quite a subversive night, unique in its intimacy. I’m really excited about the special one on one performances between artists and audience members, each one will be different. You get taken into this room and something happens to you, and then you friend goes in and they will experience something completely different. It opens up a dialogue about wrong love and about art in general and it goes from there.

Dazed Digital: What was the main draw to hold the event in Liverpool?
Travis Street:
I came to Liverpool because of the thriving arts culture and the incredible arts venues, like the A Foundation, and, of course, the warehouse space; it’s all about the warehouse space really. The Baltic area of the city has disused warehouse spaces which are perfect for the kind of event that I wanted to do.

Dazed Digital: What else are you currently working on?
Travis Street:
When I came to Liverpool I set up this company called Land which is really just an online magazine where we do art spaces, reviews, music. It was originally a platform for unrecognised artists to gain a bit of publicity and that burgeoned out to the live arts events, which are physical manifestations of that virtual platform.

Dazed Digital: Will you be sharing any wrong love with anyone special?
Travis Street:
I’ll be running round like a chicken with his head sawn off and a clipboard making sure 500 people with a full bar don’t fall into a pit or get tangled or strangled with women’s tights or fall onto lit candles. See, I’ve given you some more clues there...