Hard as Opal, a short video by Dani Leventhal and Jared Buckhiester, screens at Innis Town Hall in Toronto on April 25 as part of the Images Festival (which officially runs from April 20 to 27). Leventhal’s work has been presented everywhere from Austin, Texas to Hamburg, Germany. She has had exhibitions at the Wexner Center for the Arts, the West Cork Art Centre, and PS1, among other locations. Her videos are also included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial. She received her MFA in Film & Video from Bard College and an MFA in Studio Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She currently teaches drawing at Ohio State University.
1. Chantal Akerman
Sheilah Wilson and I have been re-watching Akerman’s films and recently made an homage to La Chambre. Kitchen Circle for Akerman, shot in our makeshift kitchen of no stove and bought water and flowered tablecloth, loops in our performance Shameless Light where we read love letters under red neon. Akerman was radical. She was a pioneer who, thank god, made lesbian sex films that we can relate to.
2. William Pope L.
Pope.L aka William Pope.L, Claim (Whitney Version), 2017, acrylic paint, graphite pencil, pushpins, wood, framed document, fortified wine, and bologna with black-and-white photocopy portraits (photograph: Bill Orcutt)
I love this bologna piece! So unapologetic, so complex, so aggressive in meaning and form. He created a world inside that rectangle of portraits, stink, text, and Mad Dog. I’ve returned to it four times and really want to meet him someday.
This book by Joseph Boyden was given to me by my mother-in-law who lives in Nova Scotia. It’s a tiny book that took me three months to read. When I got past the human brutality, I was swept away by the animal behavior and their understanding of death.
4. The Noise of Licking
5. Jesse Hewitt
Sheilah Wilson and I are making plans for the third video of the SOTD trilogy. One sequence will include portraits of men we find inspiring, men we want boy children to emulate. Jesse Hewitt, hands down, qualifies. He can infuse a block of wood, a table, anything, with his body language. He is subtle. He is explosive. He addresses power and equanimity and mortality with deep understandings.
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