“Your work escapes all logical categories, including such stable categories as body/mind, reason/madness, normal/abnormal, nature/culture, pleasure/need, female/male. It caresses jouissance; a bliss without clear outlines, an orgasm without a body; it laughs at reason and makes fun of its prudent categories. I am a poet and I rely upon words, but your work leaves me tongue-tied, jumping up and down gesturing hysterically. Your work has no need of words, it simply shows and does not tell; it highlights a place beyond the Symbolic and its fascist structures. It shows another place woven in lace. Your work makes nonsense of structuralism and its obsessive search to reduce everything to deciphered structures and symbolic transactions. It puts under suspicion philosophy's grand claim to be a master discourse, a universal meta-discourse, that tells the undeniable story of Reason to all times and all people. Your work tiptoes around such skiting hierarchies, and is a concrete flight from representation, that subverts, disturbs the categories, and the perceptual and moral "certainties" that rely upon it.”
JOHN NAJJARR, Poet.... [on Vogan's ’MIMOSIS’ ]
B I O G R A P H Y
Cathy Vogan is a multi-award winning Irish-Franco-Australian singer, performer, composer, media artist, and writer, living in Sydney, off and on, since the 70’s. She has shown her work throughout the world, including the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Japan, Brazil, the USA and Australia, and for the last 12 years, maintains a high profile online, through her numerous websites. Cathy is the author and film-maker behind the flicker-blog THING2THING.COM, which has accumulated an international audience of around 600K over the last 4 years. Her artist's website VOGANIA.COM covers 30 years of creative production, and spans across 2 domains, in France and Australia. Cathy's vintage French site CHEZ-ALICE, was created in 1996 and developed over about 7 years. It was rated in Google’s Top 40 Arts Alternative with the descriptive "strange web design".
Born in Ireland into a musical family, and raised there until adolescence, Cathy Vogan - aka CaTV - was a professional singer in the theatre and cabaret from the age of 3-11 years, and won two major British talent awards before she was 10, She then gave up the stage ”forever”, at the tender age of 14 and decided to become a gymnast… After a brilliant school, but restless 4-year university education in English, Foreign Languages, Psychology, Mathematics and Philosophy… Ms Vogan joined the Ensemble Theatre in Sydney, under the tutelage of Zika Nester and Hayes Gordon.
In 1982 she began another 4 years of study at Sydney College of the Arts, and in her third year, won the first of 8 video awards for the film "Dear Me", at the 1986 Australian Video Festival. Vogan represented Australia the following year in the same event at Sydney’s prestigious Roslyn Oxley Gallery, with her much-noticed video installation: ‘Australia Is…’. Receiving offers, she went to live in Paris for 16 years, where she co-founded, with French artist Dominik Barbier, an art-and-broadcast post-production house called Fearless Studios. Having an in-house broadcast facility enabled Vogan to go on to create a vast oeuvre of award-winning films, installations, and live events for a French and International audience.
Within the context of her years at Fearless, Vogan produced and collaborated with many other artists, writers, filmmakers, composers and choreographers; such as Alain Renais, Pierre Schaeffer, Moebius, Julia Kristeva, Terry Gilliam, Robert Longo and Orlan. In 1992, Vogan and Barbier began a 3-year collaboration with the German playwright, Heiner Muller, for the making of the film ‘I was Hamlet’ (1993); and subsequently, for a large-scale stage production of Muller’s play: ‘HAMLET MACHINE’, where Muller was to direct the actors. The 13-screen event, with 4 stages and a mostly live musical score, took 7 years to create, and was performed - posthumously for Muller - in Amsterdam, Lyon and Marseille over 2002 and 2003.
Vogan began her academic career in 1989, tutoring at the University of Paris VIII, and was a lecturer at the European School of Visual Arts for 5 years prior to returning to Australia in 2003. Other European institutions that have welcomed her creative, hands-on variety of teaching include the Ecole du Frenois in Lille, and the Kunsthochschule in Cologne.
Among Vogan’s numerous awards to date: the 1993 Berlin Videofest
award for the film ‘METHUSELAH’; both the Video Leggere Grand Prix of Palermo, and the Videokunstpreis in 1997 for ‘THE SYNCHRONIZER’; the Amnesty
International Freedom Art Award (Critic’s
Choice) in 2006 for the
installation ‘Menu, Title, Return’; and in 2010, a Platinum
Auddy award for her song “PARTY HARD'.
Back in Australia, Cathy Vogan has worked harder and produced more art and music than ever. She taught at the Australian Film, TV and Radio School for 4 years, and lectured in digital media at the UNSW COFA for 2 years, all the while expanding her own knowledge base in editing, compositing, 3D animation, and audio engineering, to assist in the driving of her “one-woman production team” - which has hardly slept for 7 years... Cathy has also worked in the broadcast sector back in Australia, making promos for VH1/MTV and FOX SPORT. In 2007, she was awarded the Apple Certified Pro and Apple Certified Trainer certifications, in recognition of her practice and teaching. Apple welcomed Vogan as one of their ‘Support Partners’ in 2007 and 2008, where she performed the role of creative trainer to their clients, ABC Nationwide, and Disney Australia. As a broadcast designer, Vogan has also brought home a number of memorable products, such as the stunning “First Australians” 7-box DVD edition for the SBS network.
In 2007 Vogan decided to revive the legendary industrial music group:
<SPK>, along with one original member, Tone Generator (aka Dominik Guerin). they were joined by K.Osmosis, a somewhat eccentric writer and performance artist, for
the band’s first release in 25 years: ‘DESPAIR’ - a partly archival DVD with web-links to the new <SPK>’s
ever expanding work-in-flux:
”SPK were sold out by one of their number, who turned the band into a metal-bothering synth-pop outfit; now he's composing film-scores in Hollywood, living it large in the belly of the beast. Yum Yum. That SPK are over. But a new SPK has exploded, with the help of Cathy [Vogan], like dead stars whose light is brighter than ever.”
ORLANDO HARRISON, Alabama3[“THE SPIRIT SPEAKS”]
The <SPK> site also contains a wealth of previously unseen relics, including William S. Burrough’s original type-written notes for The Final Academy, and Vogan’s 1997 film: ‘100 Years of Cruelty’ with Julia Kristeva, on Antonin Artaud and The Theatre of Cruelty. The ‘DESPAIR’ DVD was Tesco Records best-seller for over two years..
In 2009, Vogan was invited by GRAYSPACE - Sue McCauley and Keith Deverell - on behalf of the Melbourne International Film Festival, to create a half-hour live show for the festival. She called it ‘MIMOSIS’, and it was a story of “mirror neurons and ogres”. It used and synchronized 4-screen video projection with live action, music and story-telling. Vogan composed the musical score, and played multiple characters, male and female, old and young. She was joined onstage, at the Ding Dong Lounge in Melbourne, by legendary jazz musician, George Washingmachine on violin, 'The Fox' on drums and guitar, and Alla Bekker on accordion. Onscreen actors included SPK's K.Osmosis, Void Riot, Hobart Hughes and Mark Rogers.
In January 2010, Vogan released her debut album: 'MIMOSIS LIVE' and on DVD, 'MIMOSIS – DARK MATTERS', in collaboration with K.Osmosis. And that was basically it, for SPK. In April 2010, she saw images from an Apache helicopter, gunning down civilians in the streets of Bagdad, and veered immediately towards politics and journalism.
In 2012, Vogan released 'THE WIKILEAKS TAPES' - a 24 part series of interviews and creative interactions with celebrities and grass roots supporters of Wikileaks. The line-up included luminaries, such as Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky and John Pliger, TV personalities... writers and artists... the Assange family... three QCs... and some inspired activists.
In 2016-17, Cathy is a full-time lecturer in film at SAE, Brisbane, and a full-time research student at Queensland University of Technology.
M I M O S I S
You have been listening to 'Requiem for a Quim' by Cathy Vogan