With performance artist Angela Goh, you never really know what to expect

Angela Goh, Uncanny Valley Girl, photo by Bryony Jackson

Angela Goh, Uncanny Valley Girl, photo by Bryony Jackson.

Unless you’ve seen her work and know she’ll draw you into a flow of visual and auditory forms causing a cascade of emotional and visceral reaction. Goh has been travelling the world with her often-confronting performances. She returns now to Sydney to perform Uncanny Valley Girl for Performance Space’s Liveworks 2018 festival of experimental art. Uncanny Valley Girl addresses our fear of technology rising up, a fantasy that operates on two levels – the erotic fantasy of the female body and the utopic/dystopic fantasy of escalating technological advancement.

Angela recently received a Create NSW Quick Response grant and we were lucky enough to ask her some questions about the show.


Catch Angela’s performance at Performance Space’s Liveworks 2018 – Festival of Experimental Art.
UNCANNY VALLEY GIRL from 18 – 21 October 2018.
The Festival runs from 18 – 28 October 2018.


What things most inspire your work and help shape the narratives you tell?

At the moment, specifically – worms, horror, Giselle, AI, fembots, cowgirls, floral arrangement, surveillance, the dark, ballet, pop stars, puppetry, energy drinks, the Californian Desert, my imagination about China, bath bombs, shooting ranges, slumber parties, etc. and mostly and always, dancing.

What do you believe dance can uniquely communicate that other art forms can’t?

Well, I think that dance is not really that good at communicating, per se… actually I think that dance has a communication problem! It’s so abstract it’s kind of the worst way to try to communicate something. But that’s good, because it means that a dance could be a million different things. Which is also not to say that it is just whatever, but that it is precise and specific, but not prescriptive. Perhaps it’s not that dance can “uniquely communicate”, but rather that it offers a situation for “unique” understandings. So far my interest in dance is not necessarily as a mode of expression or communication, but rather as a kind of container for the coming together of ideas and people.

Your new piece, Uncanny Valley Girl, that you are performing at Liveworks sounds amazing, what can we expect?

Well, when the work premiered in Melbourne at the Festival of Live Art earlier this year the response from audiences there was so diverse. Some people couldn’t hold back their laughter, some people cried, some people thought it was terrifying, some thought it was really erotic… so, it’s so hard to say what people should expect. All I know for sure is that I am working with two of the most amazing collaborators, Corin Ileto has made the soundtrack and Holly Childs has written the text, so people can expect to be amazed by their talent.

Watching your work, feeling the intensity you bring to it, provokes a succession of profound and varied feelings, discomfort and tension, insight, familiarity, vulnerability, revulsion, shame and humour among them. What do you most intend for your work to achieve?

Bingo, just that! Some kind of experience that is perhaps difficult to define, but manifests in a wave of varied feelings.

What are your plans and aspirations after Liveworks 2018?

I’m incredibly excited to be involved in two group exhibitions in Sydney after Liveworks – Warm Bodies at Cement Fondu, and The Public Body .03 at Artspace, for both I will be presenting performances. Then I will travel to Helsinki to present Uncanny Valley Girl and another solo work, Desert Body Creep, in Baltic Circle festival, which is really exciting because it is the first time these two works will be presented in Europe, and also the first time Baltic Circle has programmed Australian work. After that and into 2019 I’ll undertake a series of residencies in Singapore, Zurich and Paris.