07:12, single channel video and sound
My work is an exercise in testing the limits of an understanding of existence that is hybrid and indeterminate. I create spaces where material value determined by convention is challenged by chance, choice, play and fluidity. The viewer is invited into the transgression of systems at play; intimately witnessing new negotiations of value created within it, and the space this opens up.
TRT: 03:21, Brooklyn, NY, HD Video, Color, Sound
Afternoon, the beach, late summer.
5min38sec min video
Both Sides Now: After Anger is part of a larger series, The Evil In All Things, which is inspired by the complicated figure of Satan in Milton’s Paradise Lost. Here, we follow cast members playing the part of the Rebel Angels after a lukewarm opening night for their stage production of Paradise Lost. Featuring Alan Calpe, Shan Mahmud ('07) and Paul Pescador. Sound: Blossom Dearie: Both Sides Now and Roxy Music: In Every Dream Home a Heartache
The larger project uses references of Satan -- ranging from literary illustrations, "Punch and Judy" puppet plays, Loutherbourg's pre-cinematic Eidophusikon shows, pioneering queer films by Jack Smith and Kenneth Anger, Halloween costumes and sports mascots -- to evoke the expansive and contradictory portrayals of the devil in relationship to themes of revolt, transgression, and failure.
2:37 minutes, HD video, part of a site-specific installation at SculptureCenter, New York
Bad Tools was part of a site-specific installation for SculptureCenter, New York, and takes viewers through a circuit of strange rooms and courtyards that are somehow familiar (the piece was partly inspired by Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman, which features an unwittingly dead character stuck in a looping purgatory). While the video’s imagery seems fantastic, its movements are extracted from footage shot in SculptureCenter’s basement exhibition space then mapped onto environments I constructed in the studio. This process pushes the viewer’s actual experience of the exhibition space through the skin of the images on the screen.
Title says it all.
3:30 total runtime. Kitchen sink, blue jeans, menstrual blood, scrub brush, soap and water.
A documentation of a typical monthly ritual: washing blood out of the crotch of my jeans (garment subject to change).
Shin il Kim
1min loop, pressed line drawings on paper
Depending upon the angle of the light source, a line pressed into a piece of paper can appear or remain invisible. This relationship of presence and absence is at the source of this video, which animates 753 pressed line drawings by showing 30 different drawings per second. I purposefully left out some elements of the drawing, so that the viewer’s eye is engaged in the completion of the image. By filling in the missing information, the spectator participates in the fulfillment of the work, blurring the distinction between lines that are present and absent.
3:36, Perú, HD, Single-channel video.
The video begins with the Claude Debussy's "Clair de Lune" as the viewer is taken inside the empty Peruvian Congress where bits of dust circulate through the air and start to accumulate into a mountain on the floor. The title is a nod to the government’s economic policy and its relation to drug trafficking, as Peru has ceased to be considered a third world country but has returned to be the largest producer of cocaine in the world, where nobody takes responsibility for this, undoubtedly rendering it a magician’s act.
loop, HD Video with sound
A loop between present and future of Pergamon Museum's collection of past cultures
Commissioned by the Hammer Museum for Made in L.A. in 2014, this video, which was filmed onsite at the museum, examines the moment, and how moment becomes memory. And then how memory becomes a sort of a malleable or fragile “fact”. Exploring the underlying complexities of language, translation, memory and miscommunication, it confronts the profoundness of the seemingly mundane and uses repetition and familiarity to incite instants of human connection. With: Ela Aldrete, Davie Blue, James Michael Cowan, Loren Fenton, David Gutierrez, Terrence Luke Johnson, Andrew Lush, Tim Reid (performers), Martin Dicicco (camera), Zach Alterman (sound), Vanara Taing (editing).
3:19, San Antonio, TX, Digital Animation.
This image is based on the events unfolding throughout the summer of 2016 related to the influx of images portraying police brutality of black bodies on social media sites. Also popular during the same period was the phenomenon surrounding the augmented reality app "Pokemon Go". In a simultaneous environment, I've associate the obsession to catch all Pokemon with that of Law enforcement's obsession with incarcerating black individuals.
Single channel HD, video loop, filmed at Skowhegan.
Runtime: 4:20; Three Channel Video Art; Video made at Skowhegan School of Sculpture & Painting
This three channel video art installation began during my residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in 2016. It is the first iteration in a series of narratives on notions of belonging, home, and Black identity in the African Diaspora. The video features three Skowhegan 2016 participants laying down in a serene environment (Skowhegan campus) while talking about heavy issues that are relevant to our current social-political conditions. “(Middle) Passage for Dreams” has since evolved to feature other locations and Black artists around the country, all filmed in meditative environments as they engage in dialogue.
4:00 min, Germany, Single Channel HD
The work deals with borders and migration, transformation of lives, a loop of movement that always return to the same point. The houses, like an empty train, are based on the REH model of folding portable houses from the time of the DDR in Germany. The view outside is changing, between cold and warm, from the European woods into the Middle Eastern desert and back. The train is leaving and coming back to the same place. Halt behind the fence, the people inside are trapped and cannot leave, playing musical chairs over and over again. More info: www.sharonpaz.com
TRT: 39 seconds
The Russians are Coming is a video created using appropriated clips from the 1966 American comedy film, The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming. The movie tells the Cold War story of the comedic chaos which ensues when a Soviet submarine accidentally runs aground near a small New England island town . Midway through the film the postmistress and the gossipy telephone switchboard operator of the town team up to alert everyone that the town has been “invaded” by the Russians. They craft a handmade sign with the word “Alert” painted on it and drive through the town together on a motorcycle with a sidecar in a desperate attempt to warn the other citizens of the impending doom. Always interested in how methods of communication and their content is transformed, I have taken every sequence from the film that includes the Alert sign and visually eliminated all the details except for the fluttering sign. By isolating and decontextualizing the sign, it is beautifully apparent how universal such sensationalism is in any culture or media. Removed from its paranoid era, the message transcends generations and is at once ageless for any controversy, large or small.
11:33, New Delhi, Full HD
I was reading the newspaper one day and theree was an article about how the police had caught and gunned down 25 smugglers in the South of India. The cops were really celebrating. However it emerged after a few days that some of the people who had been killed had been picked up from a bus and others from a nearby village and taken to the site of the incident and deliberately shot. It got me thinking about what were the things/people in my life that could work as evidence against me if the State decided to prosecute me. The following film is a fictional autobiography that uses only true interviews and real places and objects associated with me but it has been edited in such a way that it seems that I am up to some nefarious activities. This could happen to any one of you.
08:43, Skowhegan, Digital video
A performance for camera, inspired by the birch trees around the Skowhegan campus. The performance unfolds, unrehearsed, as the artist interacts with the materials she has collected from her immediate environment. This performance embodies the artist's struggle to reconcile spiritual and philosophical ideals with physical realities. It is also an impulse-led meditation on Karen Barad’s notion of “the entanglement of matter and meaning”, whereby all matter, both human and non-human, is in a state of co-emergence - agents acting upon and making each other. Ultimately, it is a human enjoying a romp in the woods.
Ellen Jing Xu
Total runtime: 05:35, filmed in Seattle, WA