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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sex, Loathing, and Landfills: Sarah Wisby's The Goner Party

Posted By on Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 12:00 PM

click to enlarge SARAH WISBY
  • Sarah Wisby

A year-and-a-half ago, the San Francisco Arts Commission funded artist and writer Sarah Wisby's Wake-Up Call Project: Four days each week for four months, a new volunteer from the Bay Area community gave Sarah Wisby an 8 a.m. call while she got out of bed to start her writing day.

Volunteers gave affirmations along the lines of, "I love you and I think you're a terrific writer," which, Wisby laughs, "made me feel like a loser. It's like, too much pressure." Still, she gratefully describes Wake-Up Call as "joyous" and says, "It did help me focus my energies. It takes a community to raise an artist." Wisby, a die-hard, community-driven artist participating in a number of Bay Area artist projects, recorded and compiled the 64 Wake-Up calls into a sound piece to play as part of her show this Thursday, The Goner Party: A Public Presentation.

About The Goner Party, Wisby says, "I hesitate to call it a one-woman show, but I am a woman, and there is only one of me." She adds the show is "not a series of stories. I wouldn't call what I do, 'stories.'" We asked her what people can expect this Thursday, and Wisby said, "Recorded stories about plumbers, artists and drifters, some automotive poems, you know, poems for mechanics, and songs for boys."

On her website, Wisby describes the short stories in The Goner Party as "characters coming to terms with the rejected self and/or other. They take as their initiating subjects and locations things as various as sex, loathing, landfills, dust, convalescent homes, language, prisons, and shit. They take objects off of their pedestals and examine them as complex, evolving forms." One such story involves a garbage and composting activist who writes poems when she can't convince anyone to buy composting toilets:

"The onus is on the anus
to expel the unwanted.
Poor anus, tiny bouncer
throwing out all those big bruisers
and none to sing your praises."

While we'd come for the singing alone, the show is created by an artist about beings, igniting our desire to know strangers. It will be a migration as playful and clever as Sarah Wisby herself, and we've packed our knapsacks.

The Goner Party is a one-time show Thursday, August 16 at 8 p.m. at 780 Cafe, 780 Valencia (at 19th St.). Admission is free.

Here's a video of Wisby reading at Bang Out:

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.
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Rose Tully

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