Justin Shoulder is an artist working in performance, sculpture, video and nightlife/community events production.
Shoulder uses his body and craft to forge connections between queer, migrant, spiritual and intercultural experiences. His work explores the intersections of art, performance and film.
Shoulder is a current recipient of a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship. He has performed and exhibited internationally and across Australia.
He was recently commissioned by the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts (Melbourne, 2017) to create a new work in collaboration with artist Bhenji Ra, the fourth film in the series Ex Nilalang. The project explores queer mythological figures from the Filipino diaspora. Shoulder and Ra use intricately crafted costumes, prostheses, masks, movement and sound to transform their bodies into fantastical otherworldly creatures.
In his body of work, Fantastic Creatures, Shoulder uses invented alter-personas based on queered ancestral mythologies. These creatures are embodied through hand crafted costumes and prosthesis and animated by their own gestural languages.
Other recent highlights include: The River Eats at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul; SFW by Forward Assembly, Hong Kong 2016; Ex Nilalang for The Asia Pacific Triennial at Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art 2015-16, Brisbane; and the annual costume ball he co-produces Monsta Gras at the Red Rattler, Sydney.
Shoulder’s new experimental theatre work, Carrion, premiered at Liveworks in 2017 and has toured nationally and internationally thereafter.
“Shoulder skilfully fuses the absurd and scientific in a punk-tech landscape of elements and playthings, creating the natural out of the ‘un-natural’ and inviting both tragedy and beauty. Carrion is a transcendental experience.”