Many times when asked about Genero, I become short of words. In a recent conversation with my friend and studio-mate Katrina Niebergal, I described it as a “female specific audio project”. Looking back at this statement, I think it is still too reductive due to its exclusion of woman-identifying portions of the population that the project also strives to represent. This exclusion was brought recently to my attention and I appreciated and celebrated this need for revision, because even the starting point of this project should be ever-changing.
Genero’s online platform, built by artist Sarah Wong, is composed of four parts: About, Label, Conversations and Artists. Since the launch of the project in June, each one of these fragments has been developing differently through the hands and vision of each collaborator. After only two months of operation the project has already served as a label for Stefana Fratila’s album Trista cu Frica, with a release performance held at Sunset Terrace, and has also succeeded in its mission to establish a place for discourse and critical reflection with Conversations, a column that will be featured regularly on the Mainlander. More importantly it is a place that keeps growing, with ongoing works-in-progress, frequent e-mails and meetings. When introducing the project in another conversation I had with Steffanie Ling, editor for the Mainlander, I said:
…by saying “Genero is about feminism” or “Genero is…” I close the project into itself. It becomes words and the process is always going to be guided to that place where I said it would be. Now going back to the object, the object that closes itself into itself is a dead object, I want my work to be a starting point without an end…
The idea behind the collaboration between Genero and HWY is to keep the project alive. By simultaneously featuring female artists working with sound in different parts of the globe, we seek to broaden the audience and distribution of the featured artist’s work, while expanding the possibilities for growth of the project.
This month’s featured artist is Chandra Melting-Tallow, a visual artist and musician from the Siksika Nation, who grew up between Vancouver and Calgary, Canada. With foundations in performance art, her music project “Mourning Coup” has made its way into the arms of experimental pop. In her practice, Melting-Tallow takes influences from Eurythmics, Bruce Haack and Alejandro Jodorowsky, and combines them with the exploration of the relationship between the metaphysical realm, ancestors and mourning rituals. For the last five years she has been working on her debut album “Baby Blue,” an emotionally-charged piece developed through the processing of the effects of inter-generational trauma. The album will be released through Genero next November after Mercury’s retrograde.