I never know which name I should use. Tell us a little bit about your two names?
My great-grandmother's name was Maie. The spelling of my name is based on her name, though it's pronounced the same as Michelle. There was a saucy actress named Mae West. I married a West and kept the name when I married a Davies. That's why it's west-davies.
How is PAM de Bahr influencing your art?
Pam is a study of milenials and their engagement with social media. I was working on her full time for about 2 years. The next stage of the project is the #instapam bags made from donated clothing. This is my first time working with that material. I am doing an installation at a street festival in June. It's a collaboration with a textile artist and a choreographer. I'm not sure what we're going to do yet, but I'd like to incorporate donated clothing.
I have some other ideas of pieces based on her experiences from twitter and online dating. One is a series of life size blow-ups of online dating profile pics with the faces cut out so you can shoot your own like at a fair.
What can people expect from PAM de Bahr at CAMPBASELrevisited?
There will be images from Pam's instagram printed on aluminum and videos of her making her way through the maze of milenial life.
There will also be #instapam bags that are drawstring backpacks you can put on your head and instantly become a version of Pam. I'm in the process of making the bags now. Once I have them ready, I'll use them in a film based on Pam getting ready for her first Tinder date.
The #instapam bags are made from donated clothing. I had already started the project when I found her in a bag of donated clothing. That's how she became the face of it. When she started instagram, it was all images. During the time I saw it change and become more commercial. The bags reflect that change and also answered a need I had while carrying her around waiting for an instagram moment.
And, of course, Pam will be at CAMPBASELrevisited.
How people can engage with your project?
She will be there instagraming with anyone who wants. The other plan is to have her first tinder date. She'll be in Basel and online from Tuesday, so keep your eye out for her.
What is your next projects?
As I mentioned before, I'm doing a collaboration at a street festival in June. Otherwise I'm working on some video work about body shaming. I am also continuing my garden construction where I'm using doors and windows that I'd rescued and turned into installations. Now I'm returning them to being part of a structure, but reinvented in new contexts.