Justin Shoulder is a performance-based artist, whose work cuts across performance, sculpture, dance and video. His performance work was born in the queer club scene, and has found a home in theatres and gallery spaces. Justin cites his experiences at Club Kooky and Club 77 as incredibly influential. The clubs became an escape from his job at the time, which involved editing photos, essentially removing 'blemishes'. His entrance in to performance was working with Dallas Dellaforce, where he would use a “leaf blower to blow her hair at particular moments in her show.”
Justin’s work explores queer narratives that often connect with intercultural, migrant and spiritual experiences. His work is aesthetically beautiful with stunning costuming, mask and prosthesis that are used to create mythical type creatures that are activated through his body. His main body of work is known as the Phasmahammer, which is based upon queered ancestral myth.
Justin is a founding member of queer artist collective The Glitter Militia and Club Ate, a gang of Asia-pacific sissies. Collaborating with a range of individuals that includes the likes of Bhenji Ra and partner Matthew Stegh, his work has been performed and exhibited internationally, including at AsiaTOPA, First Sight at Museum Macan, Shanghai Museum of Glass, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Performance Space, DARK MOFO, GOMA, National Gallery of Australia and Next Wave.
"Thinking about spaces that are messy, I guess that is what I am drawn to."
Justin was recently announced as a nominee for the 2018 Helpmann Awards for Best Visual or Physical Theatre Production, for Carrion.
Carrion is a work that has taken place in a range of settings from clubs to theatres. Carrion blurs the boundaries between animal, human and machine; drawing upon queer and ancestral mythologies and evoking a post-apocalyptic landscape rife with decay, where the human and the android have merged for survival. Carrion is about to have its Victorian premiere at Arts House Melbourne. More information can be found on the
“I am drawn to performance and working with my body because of the kind of visceral connection I can have with an audience member.”
For more information about Justin’s work check out:
Article: Keep Calm and Carrion
RealTime article- CARRION: Magnificent mutancy
Information on Victorian Premiere of Carrion
“In many respects I started doing performance as a reaction to having a very digital practice, working with images and I wanted to physically feel more alive in this reality.”
Stay tuned for future episodes of this season, with a range of performers and choreographers that disrupt the “normal” through their artistry including Luke George, Mette Ingvartsen, Philip Adams and Chase Johnsey. If you enjoy Delving into Dance please leave a contribution, currently raising funds to transcribe all the episodes to increase the accessibility of the podcast, particularly to deaf individuals. With the help of you, the audience funds have been raised to get this episode transcribed to improve the access for deaf audiences, the transcript for this episode can be found here.