Cannibal Garden Series
Michelle Handelman

Wednesday, August 7, 2019
12:00pm - 8:00pm

Michelle Handelman,  Candyland  (still), 1999

Michelle Handelman, Candyland (still), 1999

signs and symbols  presents a screening day of a selection of single-channel video works by Michelle Handelman from her ‘Cannibal Garden’ series (1999-2002) as part of artists & allies II.

Human desire becomes mediated through technology, where the camera lens remains the ultimate object of affection. Handelman explores the dimensions of the digital image by imprisoning her body within a static frame in order to attempt to escape it.

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Candyland, 1999, dvcam, color, sound, 05:39
Candyland inhabits a world of obsessive compulsion through an act of auto-erotic consumption. Using artifice as costume, contamination is contained within the lens, giving the viewer access to the visual pleasure of the performance, while distancing them from the action. Featuring music by: Orbital, and Vision Torn Apart.

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I.C.U., 1999, dvcam, color, sound, infinite loop
Handelman approaches the lens as the ultimate object of affection. Pulling eyelashes out of her mouth, assaulting beauty, artifice and the grotesqueness of desire.

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Aliendreamcord, 1999, dvcam, color, sound, infinite loop
Body becomes speed, symmetry becomes seduction.

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La Suture, 2000, dvcam, color, sound, 08:25
Three sisters, an attic and a giant sewing needle in an anti-gravity fairy tale of sibling rivalry over who gets the biggest phallus. If Hans Christian Anderson got a sex change and hung with the freaky girls, his stories would look like this. Featuring Michelle handelman, Eleni Maravelia, Emily Michailidou. Music by Air and Vision Torn Apart.

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i hate you, 2002, dvcam, color, sound, infinite loop
Riffing off of Bruce Nauman's early performance tapes in a moment of self-loathing narcissism, Handelman chants this negative affirmation into a song of personal endearment.

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michelle handelman uses video, text and performance to make hypnotic moving image installations that push against the boundaries of gender, race and sexuality, investigating philosophical questions of existence about the things we collectively fear and deny: sex, death, chaos. She is a 2019 Creative Capital Awardee and a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship recipient. Her work has been shown widely in such venues as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Pompidou Centre, Paris; ICA, London; Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum; PERFORMA, Guangzhou 53 Art Museum, China; PARTICIPANT, INC, NYC; Lincoln Center; REDCAT, The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, and The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art. Recent shows include Hustlers & Empires, a commission with SFMOMA (2018); Irma Vep, The Last Breath, featuring Zackary Drucker (TRANSPARENT) and Flawless Sabrina (THE QUEEN); Marking Time: 50 Years of Video Art, curated by Michael Rush, Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum (2015); and Irreverent, curated by Jennifer Tyburzcy, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, New York (2015). Her work Beware The Lily Law, a moving image installation on transgender inmates, has been on permanent display at the Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia since 2011, and will be featured in the upcoming exhibition Walls Turned Sideways: Artists Confront the American Justice System, curated by Risa Puleo, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2019). Handelman’s work is in the collection of Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art; Eli & Edythe Broad Museum of Art; Kadist Art Foundation SF/Paris; di Rosa Foundation and Preserve, Napa, California; and Zabludowicz Art Trust, London. Handelman is an Associate Professor in the Film, Media, and Performing Arts department at the Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.