Photo courtesy of Edward Bess
Mother, designer, creative, producer, musician, Michele Lamy talks to Mission about her passion for boxing and how she is using the skills she learns there, outside of the ring.
By Natalie Pappas
I’m a 70 year old brat with an exhausting optimism who thinks she can bring something positive into the world. I believe in“optimism as revolution” to quote our shaman, the artist Matthew Stone.
What you do, in your own terms? How has your professional life influenced your career path?
I’m keeping my ‘caravan’ on a path around the world, stopping off where I feel it to be right to do so. Peace begins with a smile.
You’re currently involved in curating the Corner Shop in Selfridges. How did you get involved that project?
My project ‘What Are We Fighting For’ is going from the Corner Store, where it was featured from January to March 2018, to the Outsider Art Fair in Paris in October, and then more. Artists, designers and community boxing clubs are going to put me in the ring for another 20 years. I was inspired by a statement of the Overthrow Boxing Gym in New York: “What Are You Fighting For?” I flipped it to “What Are We Fighting For?” and created an immersive project, launched at Selfridges when they invited me to curate and have a three month residency within their new Corner Shop space. I brought my version of a “world of boxing,” both literally and metaphorically.
I chose boxing not only because it has been my passion for 40 years, but because, in the ring, you have to face another human being in potential conflict with respect and adhere to rules. You have to be the best version of yourself, both mentally and physically. I think that is relevant today.
Photo courtesy of Danielle Levitt
It is moving, it is evolving. It’s about the people that I like and want to participate in one way or another. As with boxing—there is a relationship in place, and an understanding of the collaborative process.
What is the achievement of yours that you are most proud of? The biggest hurdle that you have overcome?
To quote Simone de Beauvoir: “I am incapable of conceiving infinity—and yet I do not accept finity.” I want this adventure that is the context of my life to go without an end.
Issue (something going on in the world) that is most important to you right now:
Diversity. Acceptance of the “other.”
Currently watching/reading/listening to:
Artists: Arthur Jafa,Urs Fischer, Nico Vascellari
Books: The Queen of Bloody Everything by Joanna Nadin, The Opposite of Hate by Sally Kohn
Magazines: Luncheon, Modern Matter, Puss Puss
Films: Antonio Lopez 1970, directed by James Crump
A$AP Rocky/Dexter Navy Testing video
The Big Bang Theory
When you’re not working on your career or being an activist, we can find you: At the boxing gym.
Photo courtesy of Edward Bess
What artistic medium are you most attracted to?
What is you and Rick Owens collaborative progress like?
Rick does not box, but we have been dancing together for almost 30 years.
How is your work making a difference?
Connecting people who would not ordinarily believe they could connect.
What career path (restaurateur, clothing designer, film producer, creative accomplice) have you found most fulfilling?
Each path was the path I needed at that particular time. All play their part in the story. And that is fulfilling.
Who is a Woman of Empowerment in your life (a woman who inspires you, who you look up to)?
How are you a Woman of Empowerment?
By being authentic.
My mission is…To keep questioning “what are we fighting for?”