Lorello: In many of your works, there is a physical obstacle that you set to overcome. Do you feel a sense of relief when you achieve a goal?
GILMORE: In Cake Walk, yes. That was physically the hardest piece I have ever done, and it was the only piece that I almost gave up on because it was so difficult. I knew that I could get out of Main Squeeze because I built it around my body, and it was a question of putting my body in the exact position. After I do a video, there is always a sense of relief. At the same time, the situation never turns out the way that I expect. I’m constantly spontaneously reacting to an environment. I’m not an actor. I’m just dealing with this life situation on camera. There are also several instances in which I don’t achieve, and the performance goes on. For instance, in Cake Walk, I finally get the cake and I throw it away, so the cake is a form of motivation, but it doesn’t matter if I get it or not. Cake Walk still could have ended even if I didn’t get it. It’s nice to have that moment, but the piece still would have worked if I hadn’t gotten it. You wouldn’t have gotten that same sense of relief as a viewer, so I’m actually being nicer to the viewer by achieving. That’s why I think a lot of people react strongly to My Love is an Anchor, in which I’m stuck in a bucket and will be for the rest of the life of the video. Now I’m working a little more with loop-based videos, thinking about the idea of continual struggle.
Lorello: Why do you subject yourself to discomfort in your work?
GILMORE: I think that the misconception about my videos is that they’re masochistic, and they’re not. They’re about pushing my body to a limit and trying to achieve something, using the physical to express an inner conflict. My physical relationship to objects is the most important thing to me, and making it through these challenges is what makes the “discomfort” worth it.
Lorello: Have you ever imagined working with other performers in your works?
GILMORE: I’ve been thinking about it more and more now, even though it’s never worked before. I’m working on a couple of pieces that actually have men in them, and the works deal with the idea of hyper-masculinity. I’ve been thinking more about machismo in Rome. You can’t turn your head without seeing a large male sculpture that’s dominating something. You go to the Capitoline Museum, and it’s all about male power in there. It’s also interesting to notice how these male figures even define being a woman.