Part 1: Self x Identity

narratives of self discovery and expression

Pauline Arroyo, All at Once, Digital Video, 1:55, 2014

"All at Once was born on a phone. My friends were obsessed with the app “Snapchat” to send each other videos and pictures that ranged from blank screens capturing a song on the radio, to clips of their pets. Hundreds of “snaps” were sent a day, and by the limitation of the app, none were longer than ten seconds."

"No matter the volume of videos sent, it was impossible to get the full effect of what the sender was experiencing. What interested me was that these clips were purposefully selected to share with others, yet the content was minimal to the point of inconsequential. The practical possibility of communication was intentionally stunted. This tool encapsulated the way digital culture provides a plethora of ways to connect to others but only in pieces. When meaning is divorced from content and context, what results is noise."

"For these reasons, I chose this as the medium for my video to speak through. I collected twenty snap video clips and recombined the audio and visual components in a video collage that mimics and produces the anxiety of constantly fragmenting one’s self and sending out this parts, as well as the anxiety resulting from the bombardment of receiving these fragments. To experience this all at once is overwhelming."

- Pauline Arroyo

Bentrice Jusu, Suture, Two Channel Digital Video, 7:38, 2013

From the exhibition Paradoxica Mimesis: Houses of Dignity

"My Daddy’s conventional Liberian wisdom correctly asserts that “in order to know where you are going, you must first know where you have come from.” Now as I approach college graduation, which most people consider a milestone, I find that self-reflection is necessary for progression. Sometimes, however, just like Daddy’s adage, in order to progress, regression is compulsory. The synopsis of my work, Mimesis Paradoxica: Houses of Dignity, can ultimately be described as a “process of progress—” A personally constructed means for discovering an indispensable truth. Getting to my truth that is linked with my identity and is timelessly reinforced by Daddy’s adage, means using the artistic forms of sculpture, performance, and video to gain a resolution as I revisit the past."

"I was born in Trenton, New Jersey. Paradoxically, I was raised in a Liberian household. It is from this geographical and cultural convolution that Mimesis Paradoxica: Houses of Dignity emerges. The houses symbolizes two different eras, yet also presents the parallel of my parents and my humble upbringings, which is at the core of the two structures. Conceptually, this is a work that merges metafiction (me building these mimetic structures to show the impossibility of recapturing the experiences of the past) and the reality of my personal investigation (the narrative of my mother and father’s experience and my genuine desire to want to understand it.)"

"Through video, performance, and sculpture, I attempt to weave together the two cultural narratives that have been both perplexing, and fundamental to my maturation. In this documentation of process, in the process of investigating the pasts of my parents as well as their influence on my own growth, I recreate interpretations of pivotal moments of my parents’ upbringing and interweave the tapestries of Liberia and New Jersey, hoping to give structure to the complicated threads of my lineage; the duality of my heritage and influences. This entire experiences serves to defamiliarize the idea of home for both me and especially the viewer who encounters this structure within structure— all of which add an interpretive layer and serve as another form of meta."

"Paradoxica Mimesis: Houses of Dignity re-presents my cultural dichotomy, and the deliberation to explore and define the Diaspora from which I have been far removed. Although each of the pieces is individually composed—performance, sculpture, and video—they all work together to illustrate suture."

Bentrice Jusu

Katie Kron, Multiplication Part 3, Digital Video, 0:36, 2013

From the exhibition Simulacrum

"Simulacrum: a material image, made as a representation of some deity, person, or thing (OED)"

"The pieces in this show were created out of a desire to understand the implications of creation – what it means and what it looks like, particularly for an artist."

"I believe that humans are the creation of an all-powerful Creator, formed in his image. If this is true, what happens if the creation denies the role of the Creator and attempts to become the Creator itself? What if the creation creates only by making images of itself for its own glory and self-gratification?"

"In this project, I turn the camera back onto myself to contemplate the purpose of my creation of artwork. My artwork here is a series of my own simulacra, accompanied by moving images of their creation and my attempts to interact with what I have produced – copies of myself."

"My artwork has always been some form of self-portraiture, always in some way a self-analysis or a picture of my personal journey. I have worked on ways to make this self-awareness accessible and applicable to my audience with sincere intention. Yet it is still about me – a recreation of my thoughts or feelings and an illustration of my interpretation of the world. I have recently been forced to ask if this form of image-making can reflect more than my own likeness."

"What purpose does a piece of artwork have? Can it ever be something other than an idol to oneself, a hope of carrying on one’s image in the world? All artwork inherently holds a piece of the artist, but can it be any more?"

- Katie Kron

part 11: self x uncertainty

internal and external conflict

Kayla Amador, Burst, Two Channel Digital Video (Composite), 1:50, 2017

*warning: contains flashing imagery*

"When walking around on their own, especially in a place that is not yet familiar, one may become hyper-aware of their surroundings. At the slightest disturbance, things begin to feel as though they're closing in, and alerting of possible danger. For just an instant the intrusive, fleeting thoughts arise - feelings of not being welcome or safe. It's an experience not unfamiliar to myself, and quite certainly many others."

"Burst arose from such flashes of concerns and anxieties - in trying to capture them I provide something of a reenactment, juxtaposing such inner musings with the projected outer appearance of being otherwise unbothered."

- Kayla Amador

Libby Williams, Layaway, Digital Video, 4:11, 2018

*warning: contains flashing imagery*

(installation view)

From the exhibition Layaway

"My exhibition is an installation piece that presents a structure made from shipping pallets, multiple receipt bundles and magazine ads lining the walls, and three videos (one on a tv, a 4-channel video projected video, and a single channel projected video). Three completely glittered, red, white, and blue shopping carts stand in front of a mirrored wall. The wood pallets encircle a TV playing a short documentary on the success of the public storage industry. Projected onto the receipts is a compilation of Black Friday videos, re-made into advertisements. A separate room in the space contains magazine ads that cover the walls and ceiling. The four-channeled video plays through multiple projections on the walls. It is a compilation of colorful advertisements, interspersed with images of landfills and trash."

"I wanted to create a claustrophobic space that mimicked certain aspects of our consumer culture while also pointing out the repercussions of mass over-consumption. The mirrored walls allow viewers to consider themselves as being apart of this culture. The glittered shopping carts are representations of the idea that we value the act of consumption and the culture that accompanies it to an absurd extreme. The barrage of receipts, along with the empty shipping pallets are relics of past consumption. They help create a closed-off feeling in the room while also acting as symbols of empty purchases. The TV plays a video extolling the industry that profits greatly from the storage of excessive belongings. To point out the grotesque irony of Black Friday sales and the lengths people go to for items they do not need, the four-channel video illuminates our habit of buying things not because we want them, but because they were presented to us in a slick, coercive advertisement or that we're submerged in an environment that convinces us we "need" to buy. This video is a flashy compilation of advertisements, interspersed with images of landfills and trash which echoes and distills the "environment" of consumption."

"In our society, the exchange of commodities is a necessary means of survival. This exchange has brought about innovation, increases in living standards and an awesome expansion of possibilities for the individual. But in doing this it has created a culture dependent on consuming beyond what is necessary, specifically in the United States. This culture is in many ways an unthinking celebration of consumption, dedicated to generating even more consumption. We are bombarded with attempts to cajole us to energetically participate in consumption everywhere we go, in the form of radically anesthetized advertisements. With the ability to capture our attention for only a short moment of time, they take the form of distracting, sensationalized snippets of the lives we "should" be leading. My exhibition seeks to clarify through selected objects and tableaus how we are all victims and accomplices in this spectacle of consumption."

- Libby Williams

Courtney Geiger, I Wish I Was a Kardashian So I Could Be Black, 5 Channel Digital Video, 2018

(installation view)

"'Wish I Were a Kardashian So I Could Be Black' is a 5-channel video and photo project. Each video explores the implications of current Kardashian internet culture as well as its relationship to cultural appropriation. Depicting a black woman and her interaction with various social media platforms, the project’s videos and photos consider how black women, by participating in the Kardashian Instagram internet culture, also agree to participate in a culture which exploits them."

Courtney Geiger

KKK x KKK, 14:17

Who Want Me, 6:10

KKK x KKK Try on Haul, 4:03

Camera Roll One, 4:13

Camera Roll Two, 4:13

part 111: self x acceptance

Kristi Chan, Gordon, Two Channel Digital Video, 4:11, 2014

"I made this piece for Joel Tauber's video installation class. It was presented as a 2-channel projection outdoors at Campus Grounds. This piece was born out of a desire to know Winston-Salem and the town surrounding Wake's campus more personally. I met Gordon in his store walking through the arts district one weekend morning. I was struck by his open heart and eagerness to share himself with his customers and by the tenderness with which he spoke of his craft and his loved ones. We got to chatting, and he was gracious enough to agree to be a part of my project."

"This was the first "documentary" style video I ended up making throughout my career as a Wake student and freelance artist later on; I love how the medium gives me a reason to slow down and get really curious about someone I wouldn't normally be able to in usual day-to-day interactions."

- Kristi Chan

Return to the stArt gallery website