Maria Miranda and Norie Neumark


Stuplimity and the Aesthetics of Neo-Liberalism

Friday 6 – Saturday 21 November 2015

Maria Miranda and Norie Neumark, Shredded, Video performance, 2015. Image courtesy of the artists.

Maria Miranda and Norie Neumark, Shredded, Video performance, 2015. Image courtesy of the artists.

“Gertrude and I are just the contrary”, writes Leo Stein in Journey into the Self. “She’s basically stupid and I’m basically intelligent.” So cites Sianne Ngai (Ugly Feelings) as she introduces her concept of ‘stuplimity,’ playing around between the sublime and the stupid. Stupidity, it would seem, has been greatly under-rated. And nowhere more so than in the motion, emotion and commotion of slapstick comedy, which is animated by its own particular, zany stupidity. Stuplimity and the Aesthetics of Neoliberlism is an ongoing series of short video performances calling upon the Three Stooges to explore/enact instances of stupidity, violence and, of course, stuplimity through the motions of slapstick comedy.

Neo-liberalism animates every particle of our everyday life, politics and culture. It is so pervasive that we take its violence and cruelty for granted, as inevitable. While theorists like Alana Jelinek (This is Not Art) raise the important critical question of the aesthetic effects of neo-liberalism and how to confront them, as artists we feel the need to enact them. We set out to carry the aesthetics of neo-liberalism to the extreme, so they may be visible, audible, tangible. How better to ‘unmask’ these aesthetics than the slapstick of the Three Stooges whose surreal and farcical comedies depicted heads hammered, eyes poked, hands sawed, and other physical acts of force and power – beyond the bounds of commonsense. The Three Stooges understood the affect of humiliation and violence.

Out-of-Sync is a collaboration between Norie Neumark and Maria Miranda. We have maintained a collaborative art practice for over 20 years, calling ourselves Out-of-Sync.

Engaged with questions of culture, place and memory, our practice draws provocations, ideas and material from literary texts and popular cultural forms such as film, TV and music – understanding these different cultural forms as ciphers to even greater mysteries. We treat ourselves as (art) mediums – always deep in a state of trance-like séance – passing on these strange disturbances and unclear sightings/sitings that emanate from the vast cultural unconscious. The work that emerges can take many forms, but mostly video, sound, installation and the internet.

Maria and Norie live and work in Melbourne, Australia.