Interview: artist Michelle Hannah, one half of the band Picana Electrica

This article is from 2014

Interview: artist Michelle Hannah, one half of the band Picana Electrica

Courtesy of the artist

The performance artist curates Nightflights and pitches herself as 'the Lidl version of Tilda Swinton'

Michelle Hannah is a Glasgow-based performance artist and one half of the band Picana Electrica. She was recently commissioned to produce the new work ‘Statue’ by the Talbot Rice Gallery as part of Counterpoint at the Edinburgh Art Festival.

What’s the current direction of your work?
I like that I am somewhere between art and music now. Instead of defining it as one or the other, it’s both, which makes it far more new and interesting for me and an audience. The main focus at the moment is to refine my sound and produce work that will be an androgynous Ballardian palette of identity through sound and vision. No pressure.

What are you doing for Counterpoint?
It all revolves around a new appropriated song called ‘Statue’ that I’ve recorded with the brilliant Craig Mulholland, who’s also in the show. It will have an accompanying video and photographs filmed in the Playfair Library. This will be installed with 3D scans and a black mirror etched with the words of the Enochian language. I’ll be performing too. I have a new Gareth Pugh dress, black eyes, a laser and lots of Swarovski crystals. So it’s like a cross between a digital Marlene Dietrich, JG Ballard’s Vermilion Sands, Last Year in Marienbad and a dystopian Eurthymics music video.
Plans for future work?
Apart from being a Lidl version of Tilda Swinton. I’m recording my own sounds and as Picana Electrica (the ‘band’ I am in with Craig Mulholland) we are producing two EPs to be released by the end of the year and will be performing at DCA in July. I’m also curating more NITEFLIGHTS events, which changes its format in different contexts, encompassing film, performance, art and music.



  • 3 stars

Non-thematic group show featuring work by eight artists: Shona Macnaughton, Ross Birrell, Michelle Hannah, Ellie Harrison, Andrew Miller, Keith Farquhar, Alec Finlay and Craig Mulholland.

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