Blowout! DC Performance Art Festival, Hillyer Art Space
June 16, 2012
Paul Shortt, The Car My Father Gave Me
The Car My Father Gave Me is about my relationship with my father, cars and masculinity. The performance takes the form of a Powerpoint, exploring the work I do as an artist with that of the work of my father, a car mechanic. The piece relies on facts about my relationship with my father, told in a concrete way, with images of cars I’ve owned, my father’s cars, and family photos. As an artist I’ve always felt that what I do is very different from what my father does as a mechanic and car enthusiast, but recently I’ve begun to see that how we make and recreate is very similar. Through the performance of this piece I’m attempting to understand this complex relationship with my father, while also exploring traditional roles of masculinity.
Paul Shortt (b. 1981) received his BFA in Painting from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2009. He has been in numerous group shows in Chicago, Kansas City, Seattle and New York City. From 2009-2010, he directed a monthly, year-long series of performance art at the Fishtank Performance Studio in Kansas City, Missouri, called The Paul Shortt Invitational Performances. He has participated in the Charlotte Street Foundation residency program in Kansas City, and spoken about his work at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Shortt currently is pursuing his MFA in New Media at The University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and expects to graduate in 2013.