“Trypps #7 (Badlands) charts, through an intimate long-take, a young woman's LSD trip in the Badlands National Park, before descending into a psychedelic, formal abstraction of the expansive desert landscape. Concerned with notions of the romantic sublime, phenomenological experience, and secular spiritualism, the work continues Russell's unique investigation into the possibilities of cinema as a site for transcendence.”
-- Michael Green, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
A kind of warped Folktale, the video follows two women through a bizarre, broken landscape of collapsing signs and imploding meanings, on a pilgrimage to the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, to cure their green baby. In this fantastic, primitive-future world, the difference between technology and magic has become incomprehensible. Our characters become entangled in a cargo-cult of Margaret Thatcher, and buy a Maggie doll which spouts quotations to guide them when they pull its string.
Playing off the notion of “interactivity”, Utopia poses itself as a video game plugged into the social consciousness of contemporary California. The viewer/player seemingly makes choices from the menu offering utopian or dystopian realities; however, the score is always the same: the winner loses, and vice-versa. Features Rachel Rosenthal as the host of a macabre interactive game that pushes the boundaries of performance and interactive media.
In this well-known early tape, Jonas manipulates the grammar of the camera to create the sense of a grossly disturbed physical space. The space functions as a metaphor for the unstable identity of the costumed and masked female figure roaming the screen, negotiating the rolling barrier of the screen’s bottom edge.
A video in two parts about two states (being asleep and being awake) and the absurdity, or even impossibility, of bridging between them. The camera becomes a microscope examining light as if it were a state of mind.
Walking Off Court is the story of the nervous breakdown of a tennis fan and his rising inability to find tennis partners. The film is created using huge sweeping pans, over which, in voice-over, we hear the answer-machine messages that the tennis pro leaves in his desperate search to find partners. “It is 10 minutes long and concerns a story I saw in The Times about a tennis coach called James Goodman who had a nervous breakdown around about the time that a motorway was built right outside his house.
Long still frames, text, language, and sound are weaved together to unfold the narrative of an anonymous group who fill their time by measuring distance. Innocent measurements transition into political ones, examining how image and sound communicate history. We Began by Measuring Distance explores an ultimate disenchantment with facts when the visual fails to communicate the tragic.
Produced by The Sharjah Biennial Production Programme.
"A piece about self-consciousness and the fearful noise of wind in the trees. Featuring myself as a woman who is lured into the garden by the cries of foliage, given a dinner she doesn't want by a mysterious organic being, and then turned into something else or maybe not. My first foray into digital editing and special hand crafted frame-by-frame effects."
Digital video, live action, digital video effects, human pixelation and model animation.
The only time I’ve visited a communist country was when I went to Poland in 1980, not long after Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government was first elected in Britain. I first visited the former East Germany in 1997, eight years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and a few months after Tony Blair's ‘New Labour’ government was elected. Recalling these experiences many years later, White Hole questions our imaginings of life in other places, times and political systems, mirroring its narrative through its form. London and Warsaw, 1980. London and Leipzig, 1997. Where now?