Sally Hill.
23 / artist in no particular place
✿ WORK ✿

Saturday Spotlight: Claire Paquet


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please describe where you are right now

I am having an anxiety attack in my Ikea bed in my mustard yellow room. It’s a mess. My roommates are taking out the garbage and I am not helping.

when did you start writing? what do you enjoy about sitting down and writing something, what do you get out of it?

I’ve written for myself for as long as I can remember, but I only really realized that I was allowed to put things out there and pass it off as something intentional when I took a creative writing course in my last year of university. Previous to that, I really truly believed that I’d “chosen” visual arts, like that was my “thing” and you were only allowed one “thing”, which is dumb. Writing, when it’s good, is almost an out-of-body experience, I feel. When it’s bad all I can think is “this is dumb” and then I close my macbook. When it goes well, though, it’s really cathartic. I wish it went well more often.

how much time do you spend online? what kind of influence do you think the internet has had on your writing? could you tell me how I can become a Cyber Scout?

It’s hard to say. Sometimes even when I’m doing things not on the internet I just open up my macbook next to me because I feel lonely without it. I can barely remember my life without the internet. Sometimes Nic [roommate/friend] threatens to get it cut off to make us more productive and I get really emotional. Why would you do that to me. 

The Cyber Scouts is kind of about that. It’s a project by myself and Christiana Myers - we were interested in exploring online persona building through craft, in talking about the virtual while occupying physical space. The Cyber Scouts fall in this category of art that Nic helpfully defined for me as “hang out art”. If you want to be a Cyber Scout you basically just have to be willing to hang out.

who are The Ditch Witches? is this an organization that I should fear?

The Ditch Witches are a super tough girl gang, born in Sackville and now strategically scattered all over Canada. Their aim is to incite rebellion in well behaved girls and to encourage people to eat whatever they feel like eating. I’d say fear is the reaction we are going for though it’s not the one we always receive.

who are some writers that have meant a lot to you?

My favourite writers in the entire world are all these hardcore CanLit women like Margaret Atwood, Margaret Laurence, Carol Shields and Alice Munro. I mentally refer to writing that I really like as having “fucked me up” - I frequently tell people to read Alice Munro’s story “Passion” because it “fucked me up”. A more contemporary thing that fucked me up was Sheila Heti’s “How Should A Person Be?” I actually currently have a lot of trouble reading anything written by a man. I just feel disinterested. No offense to men. It’s actually only really hindering me at this point.

are you working on any projects right now?

I’m always at least mentally working on like 10 different projects. I have a show coming up next month in St. Catharine’s, Ontario for which I am totally unprepared. I’ve been re-writing the first paragraph of a “novel” for about a year and a half now. I’m also currently doing a 9-month long performance called “Becoming a Hairdresser”. It mainly consists of me going to hairdressing school**. It’s also an exploration of how much debt I can accrue.

please name a song that you strongly identify with at this point in your life

Pretty much since March I haven’t been able to I stop listening to “High Five” by Angel Olsen, and I can never just listen to it once. I have to replay it over and over to hear the part where she says “high five” because it’s really satisfying. I don’t know what this says about me.

** I’m just kidding this isn’t a performance I actually just want to be a
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“Society behaves just as exclusively as the state, only in a more polite form: it does not throw you out, but it makes it so uncomfortable for you that you go out of your own will.”

– Karl Marx (via jacobwren)