Johanna Went (b. 1949)

Bloodletting (1988)
Club Years (1977-1987)

Johanna Went is a pioneering performance artist who began performing as part of a street theater troupe that traveled America and Europe in the 1970s. Following her years on the road, she settled in L.A. in the late '70s and began transforming her street theater performances into what would become her signature style. Using found props and hand-sewn costumes, she developed a wild stage act that included live musical backing from legendary performers such as Z'ev and KK Barret of the Screamers. Combining a wild, chaotic performing style packed with visual excitement, gallons of blood, streams of multicolored liquids, giant bloody tampons, enormous sewn fabric sculptures, wacky scary costumes and enough Styrofoam and found film stock to fill a room, Johanna packed the clubs. For more than ten years she was known as an innovative performance artist, particularly for the visual richness of her on-stage characters. She was equally renowned for her use of live improvised music that crossed over from jazzy rock grooves and jungle beats to electronic soundscapes and industrial noise. And always, above all the wild, driving music: Johanna's completely stream-of-conscious vocals.

Johanna Went in UbuWeb Sound