In My Little Kony (2013) The Motel Sisters recreate the iconic Bed-In for Peace protest made by Yoko Ono and John Lennon in 1969. In this 2013 version, the artists take on the role of ‘slacktivists’ lying around in bed with their laptops, ordering takeaway food, watching reality TV clips on YouTube and ‘liking’ socially conscious causes on social media. Apparently ‘bedridden through obesity caused by an over lethargic lifestyle’, they also use their time to ‘write idle complaint letters to organisations and government bodies that fail to meet their opinionated expectations’.
The Motel Sisters are Liam Benson and Naomi Oliver, a collaborative multi-faceted duo from Western Sydney whose work engages with society, pop culture and the contemporary art world. Having risen to fame as ‘art scene socialites’, they use their profile to explore the relationship between their suburban roots and their identity as emerging artists. Alongside guerrilla-style public performances, they frequently use social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to perform and exhibit their work.1
Benson (b. 1980) and Oliver (b. 1981) have collaborated as The Motel Sisters since 2004. Selected collaborative exhibitions and events include Passing Parade, Alaska Projects, Sydney, 2012; The Parramatta LOVE Motel Show, Parramatta Artists Studios, 2012; Becos I’m Worf It!, MOP Projects, Sydney and Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts, Melbourne, 2007–08; Postcards from the Edge, The Black Loft, La Catedral Studios, Dublin, 2007; Snack Art personal assistants, Contemporary Collection Benefactors, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, 2006; Pop Psychos, Firstdraft Gallery, Sydney, 2005; C-Town Bling, Campbelltown Arts Centre, 2005; and Regarding Retro, Blacktown Arts Centre, 2005.
Liam Benson is represented by Artereal Gallery, Sydney.
The Motel Sisters, Centaurs 2012, digital photograph, image courtesy and © the artists
During each Workout performance Brain Fuata performs Reading instructions now, transcribing his own texts and those gleaned from his co-participants as ‘a way of responding, documenting and re-performing what is enacted during the week’. He invites the other Workout artists to read his presence in the gallery, and their relationship to it.