The 16mm film installation formally reproduces the narrative ellipses of the eponymous photo essay, echoing and reverberating within the architectonic spaces of the hollowed out family home at 17 Richmond Avenue, exploring presence in absence.
The photo essay Care in the Afterlife records my experience of caring for my mother-in-law, Ada Rapoport-Albert (26.10.1945 – 18.06.2020), in the last weeks of her life. Through auto-ethnographic observations of her end-of-life care, I reckon with the affect of Ada’s shame in dying and how it mirrors events in Ada’s life. While scholarly tributes to her as an eminent academic in the field of Hebrew and Jewish Studies are forthcoming, this curation of text and image preserves her legacy within the domestic sphere. Artistic documentation of her iconic home and extensive library act as key to unlocking this interior world. The essay juxtaposes extracts from its books, notably Ada’s work on Kabbalistic mysticism and women within the Messianic tradition, with anecdotes from her personal life and her story-telling of the Hebrew bible. Connecting these narratives to the advent of Jewish modernism, interspersed citations from writers of the German-Jewish dialectical tradition (Scholem, Kafka, Benjamin, Arendt) figure as intersection points with the ostensible contradictions bound up in Ada’s person – as a Zionist sabra and self-exiled Israeli emigre, a scholar of women in Jewish Orthodoxy and unorthodox mother, and an atheist living the life as an ascetic. The text traces the reconciliation of paradox in Jewish modernism through concepts such as messianism, exile, and remembrance with narrative themes in Ada’s biography, illustrating the intertwined traditions of intellectual and family lineage. Narrated from my position as an outsider within the Jewish family and as the mother of her grandson, this intimate portrait of a dying woman seeks to fill the void of death by looking to an afterlife of care.
At the Swing Shoe Shop, the spectacle of disarmed museum visitors caught up in a frenzy of nostalgic consumer desire was accompanied by a floor projection of swing-dancing feet, showing people how to use their new shoes. A live swing dancing workshop opened and closed the exhibition. Footwork Inversion‘s video floor projection is also a precursor to the work-in-progress 16mm film installation Syncopation.
On 26, Sep 2012 | In moving Image | By selene
Stewardess Cura is seduced into isolation by her vintage fridge. Within the isolated system of her flat, Cura rids herself of excess baggage and steers clear of inner turbulence while devoting herself to the ritual of her security demonstration. The gravity of the situation increases when the Frigidaire gets between Cura and a young suitor.
Imperial Aircraft is an installation of the cross-section of an airplane cabin with branded cushions and seat-back monitors showing commercials for domestic appliances from the Imperial (1957) and Sheer Look (1956) campaigns. (The videos are in the public domain).
The interactive installation Lipstuck invites the viewer to use an engineered lipstick to `scratch´ through a video loop where a filmically hysterical woman applies and re-applies her make-up in an endless loop. Lipstuck‘s video sequence shows the artist acting out `La Toilette´. After emerging from the bathtub, she puts on faces in front of the mirror and becomes fixed in the repeated motions of making herself up. This ritual culminates with her returning to the tub in tears – only to emerge again: stuck in an endless loop.
Lipstuck‘s synchronous video and sound editing produces a musical loop, which the viewer/user can scratch through in real-time, frame by frame. The sensuality of the fetishized lipstick-control and video scenes compels the viewer/user to exploit the intimacy of the scene as he manipulates the loop, amplifying the pitch of the hysterical ritual.
The observations of discreet viewers watching the user‘s implication in the voyeuristic interaction makes for humorous meta-commentary.
User Guide to the Semiotics of the Kitchen re-packages Martha Rosler’s 1974 feminist polemic Semiotics of the Kitchen as a glossy, sexually provocative interactive puppet theatre set in a 1950’s style kitchen. Standing at an immaculately sterile media kiosk, visitors could click through a-z on a customised white keyboard and command the performer through a series of quirky semiotic interpretations of the use and meaning of the retro kitchen utensils.
The LolliPop Portraits are a series of 12 video portraits of women from the ages of 4 to 84, each consuming a lollipop in their own idiosyncratic way: some wistfully savouring the intense flavour for three quarters of an hour, some crunching down to the lollipop stick in under two minutes. Having been left alone with only the camera and their lollipops, the portraits’ subjects strip away layers of preconcieved sexual metaphor and self-conscious performance to reveal moments of breathtakingly beautiful introspection.
Visitors to the show have the opportunity to choose a lollipop and sit down in front of a live video camera to perform their own real-time lollipop portrait.