This statement is in constant flux and edit but tries incapsulate reflections on my practice as of now.  This will hopefully change with each new work.

For a statement concerning specific pieces look on the first image page of that work.

Embracing unpredictability, messiness and failure Coble has worked with performance art for over 15 years, through this time aiming to manifest problems of bodily, societal and symbolic navigation particularly focusing on issues of injustice and normative boundaries. Recurrent themes in Coble’s work revolve around queer politics and poetics often working site-specifically, research-based and - from time to time - collectively/participatory.  Engagement in artistic practices and interventions within and outside of established institutions and the use of activist strategies are integral to Coble’s work. 

Coble’s artistic work and research “Gestures of Defiance" (2014-2016) evolved around tactics, props and gestures used in the history of queer activism and related political protests; specifically focusing on the raised fist and the practice of glitter bombing.  ”Tactical frivolity” typically involving humor, performativity and peaceful non-compliance in reaction to social injustice such as pieing, drag, glitter bombing, and various forms of political theater are also keys points of research with Coble’s current work.  Considering manifestations of resistance through symbols, actions, language or silence and asking how can resistance be formulated from a queer or marginalized position Coble thinks through and with a performative practice.
Coble’s argues for the necessity of the “killjoy” figure (Sarah Ahmed) as a position of resistance within marginalized communities and normative structures that are based on particular set of codes, rules and expectations.  The killjoy figure or symbol of defiance confronts the power that is executed from within this homogeny and opens a space for resistance. Coble calls for a queer insistence on deviance as a deconstruction of the power that the norm performs (Judith Butler).
In the live work from 2015 Performing Defiance, Coble repeated the gesture of the raised fist combined with extensive glitter bombing in order to re-activate these gestures in a durational act of protest. The piece incited exhilaration and exhaustion, allowing for again, this unpredictability, messiness and failure which are particular points of interest and excitement for Coble and refers to Jack Halberstam’s proposal that resisting heteronormative standards of success and deliberately failing is a queer art in itself.
As an educator Coble supports other in considering the complexity, potential and power that their work can hold. Methods of play, experimentation, failing, re-examining, and re-contextualizing are used to challenge and support a mode of working that translates into their own artistic practice and visual language. Coble also challenges them to question their praxis and aesthetics, re-invent themselves, expand outside of what they see as safe and familiar and to give themselves the freedom to experience an energy of making art that may not always be comfortable.
Coble currently lives in Gothenburg, Sweden and is a Senior Lecturer in the Fri Konst, MFA Program at Valand Academy of Art, Gothenburg University.
Mary Coble/2016