About the artist.
Olivia Dwyer received her B.A. in Dance and Sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder under the guidance of artists such as Michelle Ellsworth, Erika Randall, and Donna Mejia. Dwyer has worked for a wide range of artists including Faye Driscoll, Sidra Bell, and Rennie Harris, as well as premiered work nationally at several acclaimed venues and festivals such as Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema and Gibney Dance in New York City. As a social justice practitioner, Dwyer is interested in creating work which grapples, complicates, and challenges codified social interaction while adopting an interdisciplinary approach to creating work which blends the world of dance with technology, film, and performance art. She currently teaches, creates and resides in Boulder, Colorado USA.
My body is a contradiction. The history I hold is virtuosic, I have pretty pointed feet and my back is straight as an arrow. When I was little I wanted to be a spinning figurine in some man’s music box. Until they told me to hold my tongue, suck my stomach in harder, and asked me to inject self-hatred in my veins. Then I sickled my foot on purpose, turned my belly inside out and threw my body to the ground. My work is a complicated homage to the contradictions of my body. This history forced itself upon me. I create art to investigate, bring forth and confront these contradictions straight in the face. I want to make a pretty dance, chew it up, shallow it, then regurgitate it again and again and again. I want to make a pretty dance, then make it hard for you to see, to make you wonder what’s there. I want to make you look at me, so I can tell you to stop. Make you feel unsafe, then ask you to look at me again. I want you to like me, but I don’t really care. I want to make you think, I want to tell you to shut up and listen, I want you to care, but I want to disappoint you.
I make dances that spit blood and cut underwear. Dances that store ancient artifacts in diva cups. Dances that have strange dreams. I have strange dreams. Dances that whisper secrets. Dances that leave. They always leave. Dances that disintegrate. Dances that die peacefully and decompose rapidly. Dances that stab green screens and cry. Dances that grieve and miss and long for companions. Dances that hold a tender rage beneath them. Dances that hate presidents. Dances that break promises. Dances that watch you sleep at night. Dances that organize chairs. Dances that distract themselves. Dances that hate themselves. Dances that need a therapist. I am comfortable with confrontation. I find façade boring. I find illusion unoriginal. My dances don’t lie. My dances are too honest.