guest artists in discussion

»Chicks on Speed« Performance Lecture

»Chicks on Speed« have been guest artists at the ZKM | Karlsruhe since 2012, and are currently working on their new album.

Alex Murray-Leslie, Kiki Moorse and Melissa Logan met at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich in the mid-90s. The “Chicks on Speed”, as they called themselves from that time on, became a multi-national collective dedicated not only to the fine and performing arts, but to music as well. Following early performance projects at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich, they soon turned away from conventional attitudes in artistic practices and towards pop. With their self-made instruments, costumes, objects mindmaps and sound installations, they continue until today to deconstruct established roles and stage compositions. From pop, ready-mades, performance and fashion there rapidly emerged art events directed against conventional norms, which may be characterized as non-conformist, feminist, participative. Musically, Chicks on Speed are affiliated with the electroclash genre. Their “performances”, which are consistently marked by improvisation, are characterized by a mix of electronic beats, visual art, choreography and fashion.

In this sense, the performance at the ZKM amounted to a controlled chaos with pop-attitudes – from an elaborately prepared stage ensemble and improvised live show – all making the performance in the ZKM_Cube as attractive as it was unsettling. They left behind them both stage and audience; the apparently evoked “anarchist” chaos became the driving force behind their Gesamtkunstwerk, thus further dismantling the borders between museum, studio and stage. In addition to a concert in the Cube at the ZKM | Karlsruhe, Chicks on Speed (Alex Murray-Leslie, Melissa Logan, Anat Ben-David) gave insights into their current work during a discussion with Ludger Brümmer. Among others, what then emerged was a cover version of Peter Weibel’s “Sex in der Stadt” from 1983.


“Is it art or is it fashion? Does it matter? Not if it makes you think. And what I think when I see this: what a good idea.”

Vanessa Friedmann, Fashion Editor, Financial Times, London


Text: Philipp Baumgarten

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