Michelle Hannah – ‘Identity’ – Artist Q&A


On Saturday 8th October 2016, 6-9pm, Instigate Arts take over the main gallery space at HOME in Manchester to host our ‘Identity’ pop-up exhibition. In this series of Q&A’s we get a little more insight into what makes some some of the participating artists tick. Here we speak with artist Michelle Hannah


Can you tell us about your practice?

There is a strong sense of subverted romanticism in my work. Namely in the roles which image, sound and performance can be used as an outlet, to understand – in my own finite way- emerging technologies, cosmic pessimism and new ontologies of identity in a post digital, non concrete world. To capture the ‘dark matter of pop’ through a musical guise. I look to the artistry and social context of music videos as my main source of inspiration.


How does your work relate to the themes of Identity?

Firstly I don’t define myself as a particular type of artist, but in terms of identity I am interested in the immanence of what is human and how this can be reached in my work. That is the point where identity doesn’t exist, to transcend it and find a point to exist within it. To not be defined by language, a sense of ‘self’ or body.


Do you think the themes of Identity relate to the current political and social climate?

“corporate aesthetics of self-branding, digital nihilism, neoliberal individualism, superhighway populism, absolute alienation, transhumanism, xenofeminism, loops of consumption, hyperconfiguration, privatization, artificiality, selfish youthfulness and fetishized novelty of selfies as validation…”


How important is the role of artists’, and the art world, in shaping both people’s lives, and the social and political landscape?

They are many types of artists and ‘art worlds’ I think. With the internet, social media, smartphones and the reduction and democracy of technology, everyone is a creator in some sense in their own landscape and identity now. But with the recession I think the lifestyle of an artist (one that is not part of the consumerist art world possibly) to adapt, to reject mainstream ideals, to be self reliant and not be entirely centred round excessive monetary needs is something that could shape a better futurity.

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