Lisa Birke is a multidisciplinary artist who situates herself between the tradition of painting, digital video, and performance art. She is a recent MFA graduate from the University of Waterloo (with distinction, 2013). She has had solo exhibitions and screenings across Canada, and her short films have been shown at film and video festivals internationally including the sixth edition of InShadow—International Festival of Video, Performance and Technologies, Lisbon; CologneOFF X; Cyprus International Performance Art Festival; Cold Cuts Video Festival, Dawson City; the 20th International Short Film Week, Regensburg; Other Venice Film Festival; and Videoholica, Varna, Bulgaria. Recently she was a keynote artist at the Sounds Like Audio Art Festival, Saskatoon, and performed at CAFKA 2014, Kitchener.
Birke examines notions of “self” through the lens of gender, bringing the cultural tropes of woman into focus and into question. Filmed unaccompanied in the Canadian landscape, absurd yet insightful performative acts become entangled in nuanced and complex narratives in single and multichannel video works that make reference to art history, mythology, and popular culture. Revealing what lies beneath the surface of femininity, her work toys with a conclusion that is problematic, comi-tragic, and, most essentially, human.