The Performance Artist Exorcizing Her Demons On Stage

Celeste XXX is something that I have created as a rebellion towards conventional views of art, music, and the female form.

XXX meaning sexually explicit or provocative content

XXX meaning poison

“punk” does not have to have a distorted fast pace guitar and angry vocals

and pop does not have to be a mainstream thing.

I lived by the philosophy that the punk movement starts from rebellion and attitude, the need to change and over throw.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The objectification of women has deeply affected my mental flow and the female desire to be attractive and sexy is heavy and so apparent in today’s media and social media platforms.

Celeste XXX gave me the freedom to be the sex symbol I always wanted to be, that blonde bombshell, the Anna Nicole and the scandalous pop star Madonna. I also wanted to be a fearless bad ass like Kembra Phfaler or a firey goddess like Lydia Lunch. I wanted to be an embodiment of darkness reviving the past lives of women before me. I have been inspired by strong women my entire life. Inspired by their rage, their pain, and their joy. I wanted this project to be a projection of my dark feminine energy and how sex can be scary. Also, how lonely it is to be the one “desired”.

Coming from a sheltered childhood I was ingrained with a soiled view of how a female should be. I was afraid of my sexuality, I was afraid of myself.

In my art work I will always try to convey the disfigurement I feel.

As I started to write songs for Celeste XXX, I wrote my first song called “XXX” for Anna Nicole Smith and her dark history over a industrial funk beat, I then proceeded into “Ghost Boy”, a song about fucking a ghost,  “Guilt” a song about my guilt to my parents about the art I was making and how provocative it felt. “Fantasy Girl” inspired by my love for late night tv call girl advertisements, it is a heartbreak song about a painful one night stand I had resulting into later destructive behaviour, I began to realize that the worst heartbreaks for me were over people I could never attain, I built a fantasy in my head over them. Most of my songs have a cinematic tone and a horror movie influence to them. I wanted to change the perception of genres because I felt like it would be too easy to write a punk song, I thought maybe I’ll just write 80’s type ballads with a punk attitude, a goth demeanour, and a noisier industrial sound to them. I wanted to experiment with creating new realms of unconventional taste.

When I started to play shows as Celeste XXX it started as me wanting to let out my inner Madonna but add Nina Hagen in the mix with it, singing sensually and chaotically screaming. There is this inner pain I love to unleash through my voice, like a sirens’ calling, a banshee screaming. I wanted to project mania in my voice, this wasn’t me faking it either, I was feeling like this on a regular day basis. I had such inner pain from heartbreak and emotional confusion with the way my life was in general. I had such hatred for conventional ways, scene segregation in LA, and genre worship. I wanted to be a punk as fuck pop star sex symbol, that would spit in your face but give you a kiss and listen to your problems later.

After a while my voice was not enough… I wanted to self destruct on stage. I screamed, I sang, I whimpered. I threw any substance I could onto my body, I’ve gotten acrylic paint in my eyes, fake blood (the kind you shouldn’t shallow) in my mouth, I threw cake on the floors, stained the walls of bars red, bent myself backwards. I did this as an exorcism of energy, I feel like I blackout when I perform and like  I have torn my skin off for the audience to see what was underneath all the civilized actions I have to go through in daily life. I become my primal self. After shows are usually over I feel an overwhelming sad energy, I feel postpartum. I’m left thinking, “What’s next?”

After a year of being “Celeste XXX” I realized that this was no longer a little music project I put together. It was a liberation of everything I feared as a young woman. It was an exorcism of my pain and heartbreak, of any self worthlessness. I showed myself growth and maturity. Being real is something that I have always cherished and admired, a raw energy is always a birth to something new. I started to realize I had become a canvas and my soul was this explosive ink.

I believe that as people we are multidimensional, we have many many faces. Never be afraid to try on all your dimensions, fearlessly. 

Words: Celeste Kamppila, Photography: Scott Freeman, Fausto Renteria

 

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