Opening September 10th at FiveMyles Gallery in Brooklyn, Amy Jenkins' animation To Have and to Hold is included in the exhibition A Language of Exhaltation: Seven Artists Reflect on Their Work, curated by Larry Qualls.
- - - - - -
New York Times review of exhibition The Women's Room: Female Perspectives on Men, Women, Family and Nation at Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, including Becoming and Audrey Superhero
(Excerpt of review, click here for link to full review and see also press release below.)
- - - - - -
Opening Columbus Day Weekend at Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Becoming and Audrey Superhero are included in the exhibition The Women's Room: Female Perspectives on Men, Women, Family and Nation (see press release below.)
- - - - - -
- - - - - -
I am pleased to announce the premiere of my newest work, Becoming, in the exhibition VITAL SIGNS: The Enigma of Identity opening February First at the Pelham Art Center in the Bronx section of NYC (see press release below.) The exhibition will also include my 2010 experimental documentary Audrey Superhero, which explores the shifting terrain of gender identity.
VITAL SIGNS, opening February First at Pelham Art Center, examines the use of familiar objects that question how we make conventional yet sometimes inadequate or misguided assumptions about their content. Common assumptions about identity, beauty, and gender, as well as the larger view of the body politic, frequently lurk just below the surface of each image. Often these pictures are misleading in their simplicity, hiding undercurrents of meaning and content. VITAL SIGNS examines these illusive images as a
way of revealing their underlying complexity, thus rewarding us with a more complete understanding of the artists’ passion and intent.
Artists included in the exhibition are: photographers Dean Dempsey and Susan Fenton; video artist Amy Jenkins; and installation artists Lorie Novak and Dread Scott.
VITAL SIGNS is curated by Kathleen Monaghan and Lisa A. Banner.
- - - - - -
After its exciting premiere in 2011, featuring retrospectives of David Lynch and Jonas Mekas, The 2nd Annual Greenpoint Film Festival, Sept. 20th – 23rd 2012, brings a wide array of contemporary narrative, documentary, and
experimental film to Brooklyn, featuring competitive submissions and special programs assembled by leading film curators. The four-day program includes over 25 films selected by eight judges from a competitive field of over 100 submissions in all categories, including Documentary, Narrative, and Experimental. In addition, festival curators have assembled a stunning selection of shorts and features for our special category themes Environmental and Community, along with Q&A’s and panels. Sunday, Sept. 23rd, at 5:30, "Audrey Superhero" will screen as part of the Body and Material video program, followed by a panel discussion which will include director Amy Jenkins.
- - - - - -
This two-day symposium entitled Nam June Paik and the Conservation of Video Sculpture is hosted by School of Art, University of Cincinnati, and is funded by a grant from the Getty Foundation, Los Angeles. The main goal of this symposium is to support research into the restoration and reconstruction of a Paik video wall, Cinci-Mix, that the University of Cincinnati acquired in 1996. Using this artwork as a starting point, the symposium will address broader issues in the conservation and restoration of time based media in contemporary art collections. In addition, there will be an extensive video art exhibition entitled VIDEO SCULPTURE from April 4, 2011 - April 29, 2011, in the University’s Reed Gallery to coincide with the conference, including artists Nam June Paik, Alan Rath, Fabrizio Plessi, Amy Jenkins, and others.
- - - - - -
I'm pleased to announce that the official NY premiere of my new film Audrey Superhero will be on the afternoon of Saturday, February 12th, 2011, as part of The Athena Film Festival shorts program, at Barnard College on 117th St. and Broadway. An experimental documentary, Audrey Superhero features my daughter Audrey in her obsession with Superman and her desire to be a boy. This film festival is hosted by Women in Hollywood and Barnard College, and focuses on Women and Leadership. Other recent screenings of Audrey Superhero include Anthology Film Archives, as part of the New Filmmakers New York series, and the Three Rivers Film Festival, in Pittsburgh, PA.
- - - - - -
ATHICA: Athens Institute for Contemporary Art, Inc. presents:
Curator: ATHICA Director Lizzie Zucker Saltz
January 9 - February 28, 2010
ATHICA: Athens Institute for Contemporary Art is excited to bring northeast Georgia Nurture: Video and Photography by Amy Jenkins. The exhibit marks three firsts for ATHICA: it is our first focusing on the personal yet universal issues of parenting and breast-feeding, our first large-scale video-art exhibit, and our first full-run solo artist exhibition. The works, curated by ATHICA Artistic Director Lizzie Zucker Saltz, are from Jenkins’ stunning Cradle series, in which the artist films herself and members of her family in order to reveal salient aspects of familial relationships. In the artist’s words: “Visceral and emotional, these personal narratives offer a window into intimate life, where the commonplace becomes surprising and unexpected.“ We are delighted to be hosting Jenkins’ first solo exhibition south of Kentucky, which follows two decades of the New Hampshire-based artist’s exhibiting at national and international museums and galleries.
Jenkins often employs classically inspired compositions of tastefully arranged nudes set against dense black backgrounds, which she then videotapes and photographs, the chaste aesthetic highlighting the universal nature of the artist’s themes. For instance, Tug, a photograph in the format of a long horizontal strip, dramatically reveals two parents pulling at opposing ends of a bright red rope, a tot by her mother’s side. The composition elegantly condenses contemporary parents’ struggles with sharing child-rearing responsibilities into a striking image. According to the artist, Tug represents “the tension and harmony within parenthood” and “the triangular relationship of parents and child.”
A number of of Jenkins’ works will be debuting at ATHICA, such as Audrey Superhero, a new video created specifically for this ATHICA exhibit that features Jenkins’ seven-year old daughter playing dress-up as Superman, bringing up questions of nascent gender identity. We are honored also to be exhibiting an older piece, The Audrey Samsara, a soothing and sumptuous nineteen-minute video of the same Audrey five years earlier breastfeeding, while wearing bright red shoes designed by Salvatore Ferragamo, in her mother’s black-fabric draped lap. This piece provoked a censorship scandal in New York City in 2004 at the designers’ 5th Avenue gallery when a company executive found the artwork "distasteful." The surrounding publicity firestorm raised a broad range of vital issues covered by no less than six mainstream newspapers, magazines and even an academic journal: issues ranging from the general public’s ignorance of the significant health advantages and psychological benefits of breastfeeding, American society’s puritanical attitude toward the female breast even in a maternal context, a discomfort with non-sexual nudity, and the technological-era distancing from our animal natures.
The artist describes The Audrey Samsara as “a meditative, slowly unfolding video featuring the artist’s 18-month old daughter breastfeeding, falling asleep, reawakening, breastfeeding and again falling into deep sleep. This continual cycle brings to mind the notion of the life force, hence the Buddhist word ‘Samsara,’ meaning the cycle of death and rebirth. Drawing inspiration from renaissance painting, The Audrey Samsara echoes depictions of the Madonna and Child, as well as the Pieta, yet it is not idealized nor sentimental.” The work went on to be exhibited at many venues nationally and internationally.
Most of the figures in Jenkins’ oeuvre are displayed on large monitors or projected at life-scale for maximum impact. For instance, Held has the full-sized figure of the artist herself crawling nude into the lap of an eight-foot high painted rendering of Gerber-style baby ensconced in a cozy yellow snuggie, where she curls up for a brief nap, amusingly reversing the usual assumptions of who is nurturer and who is nurtured. Milky-Milk, according to the artist, is composed of “a tiny LCD video monitor showing a life-sized breast viewed from below is suspended just above head-height. Perilously clinging to the nipple is a single droplet of milk, which in a matter of minutes falls from the nipple and obscures the view of the breast. Tenderly, the woman wipes the droplet away, as if ‘cleaning up’ the viewer who has just been ‘dripped on.’” Other video pieces such as the installation Variations on Contrary Motion, and the installation Shitfit--in which the viewer peers through a miniature doorway in to a child’s room, only to see a small video of the artist emulating a child’s tantrum--meditate on having children.
Curator Lizzie Zucker Saltz is pleased, as a curator, parent, feminist, and former artist, to be presenting works that so powerfully address these central, intimate and yet often politicized themes. She first encountered Jenkins’ video installations in New York City in the early 1990’s and had wanted to find a way to show them to Athens since, and even more so after reading Jerry Cullum’s piece discussing the censoring of The Audrey Samsara in the Atlanta-based Art Papers (28.4, 2004). Public breast-feeding laws have been subject to numerous court-cases during the past decade, which has motivated activist efforts, such as the “Breastfeeding Welcome Here” stickers that can be found on many Athens’ business windows.
For these reasons, as well as the issues surrounding Ms Jenkins’ Cradle series, a portion of the gallery will be devoted to the dissemination of information on parenting resources and breastfeeding during the run of the exhibit. A spate of affiliated events are planned that will also help raise awareness of breastfeeding issues while providing entertainment for children, the first of which, Milky-Milk Time: a pro-breast-feeding event, is being organized by Athens Conscious Parent and Full Bloom Pregnancy and Early Parenting Center. Guest essayist Mary Jessica Hammes will be contributing an essay to the Nurture exhibition catalog detailing the benefits of breastfeeding and its relation to nudity in American culture and art through the ages.