Dance Artist Johanna Constantine on the Text That Inspired Her

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Johanna is wearing a fine wool-twill coat with attached leather bra by Helmut Lang Seen by Shayne Oliver. Her own leather turtleneck and jewelleryPhotography by Casper Sejersen, Styling by Nell Kalonji

The New York-based DJ was at a crossroads when she discovered “one of the greatest feminist diatribes I have ever read”

“An interview with the singer Diamanda Galas in the 1991 edition of RE/Search magazine titled Angry Women was key in my artistic development. I was young when I read it, and entrenched in the California punk scene where there was no clear path to a sustainable future or job. Role models were hard to come by. My political views and compulsive building habits signalled my artistic tendencies but I was under the impression that my ability should feel innate. Reading Galas’ interview hit me like a brick. She expressed great rage but intense practicality in building her battle plan; she was a woman raging at the world with grace, vitriol and success. It is one of the greatest feminist diatribes I have ever read and showed how you decide which skill set you want and then acquire it. You decide how and when to do your art! ‘All right,’ I thought. ‘Let’s get started.’”

Johanna Constantine is a New York-based dance artist and DJ. In 1992 she formed avant-garde drag theatre troupe, Black Lips Performance Cult, with musician and artist Anohni. Today she tours the world with her transformative performances; her costumes, often comprising stark metal sculpture, lend her appearance a monolithic quality. As well as performing in the Future Feminism collective, Constantine has collaborated on Tate installations with filmmaker Charles Atlas and projects with sound artist William Basinski. Offering an “antagonistic response to a destructive patriarchal society,” Constantine infiltrates both the art world and New York club scene with equal force.

Hair: Blake Erik at Statement Artists using Hairstory. Make-up: Susie Sobol at Julian Watson Agency. Set design: Ian Salter at Frank Reps. Digital tech: Frederike Heide. Photographic assistants: Christopher Parente and Max Bernetz. Styling assistants: Rebecca Perlmutar, Kat Banas and Athena Zammit. Make-up assistant: Ayaka Nihei. Set-design assistant: George de Lacey. Production: Artistry London. Post-production: Studio Private

The Spring/Summer 2018 issue of AnOther Magazine is out now.