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Sig Waller

May 8, 2013

Sig Waller

Sig Waller is an artist who can transform the ordinary into something unsettling – defamiliarizing common artifacts of everyday life so they lay bare the operations of power that allow quotidian existence to go on. In her recent series, Parlour Games, Sig took vintage textiles and illuminated them in ink with scenes of stunning violence, in the style of 17th century engravings. The effect is unnerving, taking familiar handcrafts – everyone’s grandma or great aunt had doilies and antimacassars which they’d lovingly embroidered – and using them to showcase the horrors man visits upon man. This may sound grim, and it is, but there’s also a mordant wit at work in Sig’s art that let’s us laugh at the dystopic vision she’s serving up on a familiar platter, or in this case, hand towel.

Sig grew up in Swansea, Wales and Saarbrücken, Germany. After studying Fine Art & Art History at Goldsmiths College, London, Sig worked in animation, music videos and design. She moved to East Berlin in the mid-90s and became involved in the local art scene and began working under the alias S.I.G. She is currently based in Brighton and Berlin.

1. What is your hometown?

Swansea, Wales, though I always wanted it to be Berlin, Germany.

2. With what fictional character do you most identify?

I don’t generally identify with fictional characters much. I prefer escapism: I’d like to be Captain Bluebear.

3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.

I think a young Nina Hagen would play the young me. The older me? I’m not sure -­‐ maybe Divine?

4. What work of art speaks to your soul?

Most good art or art I like will speak to my soul on some level. If it doesn’t, it’s no good. The same applies to writing, music, love, anything.

5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?

I’m reading The Revolution of Everyday Life by Raoul Vaneigem and 1Q84 Book 3 by Haruki Murakami. I recommend How to Make Love to a Negro by Dany Laferrière.

6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?

I don’t really listen to songs I have stored on my iPod much, I use it more for listening to FIP, a French music station. I prefer to discover new things, not to endlessly repeat what I already know.

7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?

That’s a tricky one, as I have a very bad memory and I rarely cry.

8. Cat person or dog person?

I like both but have neither.

9. What is more important, truth or kindness?

Kindness. There is no truth.

10. How do you define sin?

Sin is when you manipulate and control others to feed your ego.

11. How do you define virtue?

Virtue is when you love someone and expect nothing in return.

12. Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?

Maybe I won’t have a headstone, maybe I get them to scatter my ashes or keep in them in an urn, which is displayed as art. What would it say? I don’t know what people say about me, but I know it’s not all good. I like the idea of a New Orleans-­‐style funeral with slow trumpet music. I hope they have a good party when I die, that would probably be pertinent.

Bonus Question: Who would you like to see answer these questions?

I would like to hear Martin Kippenberger answer these questions. Maybe we can arrange a séance.


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