“Know the game, be the game, play the game, change the game!” with artist Ope Lori
Not only is the artist and businesswoman Ope Lori an expert in the politics of looking and desire, but she gets turned on by her own work. In this durational interview, Oriana Fox asks Lori about the lessons learned from making work that addresses the intersections of race and gender, and about how that has impacted her life and career. In this meandering discussion they touch upon the impact of the media and its stereotypes; the limits of the tactic of reversal towards genuine inclusion; the importance of language; guilty pleasures; cross-identification; porn; and fighting the myth of the suffering artist. They also discuss the path Lori followed in founding her very own consulting and training business PILAA (Pre-Image Learning and Action). Through it, Lori puts the expertise gleaned from her practice-based research as an artist to work for the greater good. In this way, she follows the motto coined by Jack Halberstam in Gaga Feminism: “Know the game, be the game, play the game, change the game!” If you have ever questioned the wider use of art that addresses identity politics, then look no further than Ope Lori’s trailblazing work.
Oriana Fox is an artist with a PhD in self-disclosure. She puts her expertise to work as the host of the talk show performance piece The O Show.
Dr Ope Lori lives and works in London. She is an artist and the founder of the business PILAA (Pre-image Learning and Action) which specialises in creating inspirational visual work and training in the area of equality, diversity and inclusion. Previously, she taught at both Chelsea College of Arts and Leeds Arts University. She holds a PhD from the Transnational Art Identity and Nation Research Centre, UAL and is currently working on a book. A newly commissioned artwork by Lori will be on view in a group exhibition entitled “Care, Contagion, Community – Self & Other” at Autograph in Shoreditch opening in September 2021.
Additional artists mentioned in this episode: Sadie Lee, Marcia Michael, The Golden Brown Girls (aka Indrani Ashe, Shannon Tamara Lewis and Sara Umar), Fred Wilson, Bill Viola, Virginia Nimarkoh
Books mentioned in this episode: Darby English 1971: A Year in the Life of Colour; Mollie Godfrey and Vershawn Ashanti Young Neo-Passing: Performing Identity after Jim Crow;
and Daniel Goleman Emotional Intelligence.
- Hosted, edited and produced by Oriana Fox
- Post-production mixing by Stacey Harvey
- Themesong written and performed by Paulette Humanbeing
- Special thanks to Katie Beeson, Janak Patel, Sven Olivier Van Damme and the Foxes and Hayeses.
Would you like to see your name in the credits list? In a couple of short steps, you can make that happen by supporting this podcast via Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/orianafox
If you're enjoying the series, please rate and review in your favourite podcast directories such as iTunes, Spotify or Podchaser. NB: You may need to sign in to rate and review.