Clara Pagone
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Clara Pagone

Dame Joan Sutherland Fund recipient, Performance Artist
Origin: Melbourne
Currently based: New York
Clara is an Australian-Italian performance artist whose practice ranges from screen & stage work to media arts installations & collaborative works. Engaging with other artistic mediums such as visual arts, media technology, interactive and abstract installations, sound, space, time and light, Pagone relishes connecting actors to other arts practices to make works of wonderment with a political consciousness; that political consciousness could be the simple reality of sharing a moment of joy with strangers in this hyper-consumer based world. Clara currently lives in NYC, coming from Melbourne where she graduated with a Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences and a Bachelor of Laws whilst building her arts career. Awards and productions include: Susan Who? Best Actress Melbourne 2007 (Arts Centre Fairfax Fast n Fresh), Robyn in award-winning feature film Johnny Ghost, Guest Adjudicator for Bilingual Speech & Drama Eisteddfod (Mildura), guest artist with ensemble for George Town International Arts Festival, collaborating with Erin Mee’s “This is Not a Theatre Company” as a voice artist for Staten Ferry Podcast and theatre artist in A Very Serious Banquet (Cubist Theatre Performance) (NYC), actor for Gabriel Barcia-Colombo & Benita de Wit’s site-specific exhibition The Secret Society of Forbidden Literature in the Mid-Manhattan Corner Room playing Kafka’s Metamorphosis (NYC), Improv Comedian for Mary Fe’s Google Made Me Do It at The Silent Barn Theatre (NYC). 
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Who are you as an artist?
I am an Australian performance artist currently in New York. My practice includes collaborative, ensemble, solo, live, interactive, rehearsed, improvised, screen and developmental work. I love working alongside other artists with their respective fields of expertise and maximizing the potential of technology in interactive ways. My mission is to reinstall joy and love into the world by making film and theatre productions that question why we aren’t always championing them as often as we could.

What prompted you to come to the US?
I promised myself I would come to the Mecca for creativity when I had a reason. The best reason was when Anne Bogart’s SITI Company accepted me into their Inaugural Conservatory program for 2013/2014.

What did your course/project involve?
I trained in the Inaugural SITI Conservatory, which was a two semester training program for performers, featuring Suzuki, Viewpoints, Composition, master classes with guest artists, culminating in a live public performance created by the Conservatory artists and curated by SITI Company. The training was rigorous, physical, ensemble based work with a performer training focus, designed for independent theatre artists to train and emerge with classically trained bodies, contemporary sensibilities, and rich flexible intellects in order to generate new work.

What were the highlights of your experience?
I was given the opportunity to perform with a phenomenal array of artists on a work we had self-devised in an incubation period of about 9-months. I had never had this privilege to just train and create and get to work with so many other artists day in and day out, a real honor.

Additionally I was invited to collaborate with two independent artists outside of the SITI context, Gabriel Barcia-Colombo and Benita de Wit, on a live installation piece as Kafka’s Gregor Samsa at NYPL The Corner Room called The Secret Society of Forbidden Lit to phenomenal audience responses and engagement.

Where did you find inspiration? 
Inspiration tickles me all the time: galleries, libraries, sculptures, museums, and our co-inhabitants walking on the streets or living up trees.

Inspiration finds me everyday, all day.

What will you take away from this experience?
The Conservatory was a phenomenal experience allowing my work to expand in ability and range and establish valued contacts in the arts industry I am proud to call colleagues as I continue my journey of making work internationally.

What is your favorite piece of work that resulted from this experience?
An upcoming sound installation I am working on with creator Audra Wolowiec and colleagues. It will be a sound performance in Long Island City Sculpture Park where actors warm-up while the audience is immersed in that sound. I can’t wait to see what this creates with the audience members. 

What are you currently working on?
I am currently working with Erin Mee and Jessie Bear on a Cubist Installation Dinner party, being performed at Judson Church and New York Theatre Workshop. It is based on the 1908 dinner Picasso held for Rousseau’s 64th Birthday in Paris.

What is your vision for the future?
I hope to live and work to establish a career as a performance artist in screen and theatre in the USA, and establish representation with both a New York and California based agents.

What advice would you give other artists aspiring to come to the US?
Research, stay healthy, stay happy, save funds and have a plan B for funds, enjoy diving into your field and don’t be afraid to ask those you admire in your field. 

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