(Livestream opens at 7:30pm – 03/27 )
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Mar 27, 2022 at 7:30 pm
We aspire to
With Dani & Sheilah ReStack, Laura Conway, Lauren Flinner, Kym McDaniel, Gia Gonzales, Emma Reasoner, Justine Yan, Lesley Steele, Daphne Xu, Emily Drury, Julie Le Hegarat, Gabby Garcia Steib, Sarah Rushford, & Valerie Salez
We aspire to “feral domesticity.”
Last winter, thirteen artists came together through a program at UnionDocs, with generous leadership from collaborative artists Dani and Sheilah ReStack, from all over the world. While sheltering at home we use a forced reduction of our world, as a space in which to imagine new realities.
We gathered together four times a week with guest artists, writers, and makers to look for new ways to be present in this moment, to learn from the suffering and instability brought on by the pandemic, to transform the possibilities of the limited space we occupy and reimagine our own boundaries and futures in the process.
With an impulse towards eschewing perfection and making freely, a body of work from the group emerged. This will be the first time we are sharing this collection of work inspired by the lab from the artist participants.
We invite you to join us in celebrating and exploring some of the questions at the center of this collection like, how is your body your home? Can you transform your house to be a space for unpredictable occurrences? Can banal tasks be rituals? What does doubled-inhabitation look like? What do you resist and what are your methods of resistance? How do we remain present? Are you willing to be guided by animal knowledge? What does a construction of the future look like built from materials found around the house/apartment?
Catch a glimpse of what we discovered together in this lab, the work that was produced within and hear some of the wisdom passed through from our visiting guests including: Miguel Gutierrez, Dane Komljen, Michael Morris, Steve Reinke, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Rosine Mbakam, Maggie Nelson, and Moyra Davey.
This program is streaming online and also live IRL at UnionDocs with a handful of the artists from the lab joining in person.
Dani and Sheilah ReStack have embarked on an artistic relationship that is formally and emotionally adjacent to their domestic lives, a quotidian zone they share with their young daughter Rose. Both artists have established careers on their own. Neither Dani’ video work or Sheilah’s multimedia performance and installation work could exactly prepare us for the force of the women’s collaborative efforts. – Michael Sicinski, Cinema Scope, 2017. ReStack collaborations have shown at the 2017 Whitney Biennial, Iceberg Projects Chicago, Toronto International Film Festival, Images Film Festival, Toronto, Lyric Theater, Carrizozo, NM, Leslie Lohman Project Space, Gaa Wellfleet, New York Film Festival and The Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio. They have received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ohio Arts Council and Visual Studies Workshop, NY. They have been residents at The Headlands in Marin County and their newest video Ohio, premiered as part of Wexner Center’s Cinetracts series fall 2020.
Dani’s (she / her) work is made with an emotional logic, questioning cultural, personal and animal realities. She got her MFA in Film/Video at Bard College in 2010. She has screened at the UnionDocs, Oberhausen, Rotterdam, MoMA PS1, Anthology Film Archives, Views from the Avant-Garde, and Projections.Dani is Associate Professor Painting and Drawing at Ohio State University.
Sheilah’s (she / her) work is a feminist, queer proposal for new systems of knowledge and narrative. She has her BFA from NSCAD University, Halifax and MFA from Goldmiths College, London. Recent solo show Hold Hold Spill was at Interface Gallery in Oakland, California (2020). Residencies include Banff Center for the Arts (2012), Struts and Faucet Media Centre (2014), Headlands Center for the Arts (2016) and MacDowell fellowship (2019). ReStack is the recipient of the Howard Foundation Fellowship for Photography (2017), and Canada Council Project Grants (2013, 2017). Sheilah is Associate Professor and Chair Studio Art at Denison University.
Daphne Xu is a Chinese Canadian artist and filmmaker exploring the politics and poetics of place. Her creative practice engages observations of the everyday and of contested landscapes.
Emily Drury is an artist, gardener and landscape designer based in rural New Hampshire. Her work engages plant and human intimacies and mutualities, hybridizing the close observational, descriptive and embodied practices of gardening, film and poetry.
Emma Reasoner is an interdisciplinary artist currently based in Columbus, Ohio, and raised transnationally. They received their BA in Political Science from Denison University in 2015.
Gia Gonzales is a poet in New York City, where she was born. A former co-curator of the Segue Reading Series, she currently organizes an ongoing reading series with her queer poetry and performance collective, The Anchoress Syndicate. Her work has most recently appeared in No Issue / @no___ish, Femmescapes, Bomb Cyclone, and variously with the Poetry Project. She is a publicist at Nightboat Books.
Justine Yan is a poet, reporter and audio producer from northern California and southern China. She completed her MFA in poetry at the University of California, Irvine, where she served as visual art and poetry editor for Faultline Journal of Arts & Letters. She is currently reporting and producing stories for Rough Translation, an international podcast by NPR. She has received grants and fellowships to live and write in China, and is currently working on a manuscript titled “Ways of Counting.”
Julie Le Hegarat is a scholar, practitioner, and educator working at the intersection of film, media, and literature. She’s interested in experimental documentaries, especially essayist and first-person based. Her current project is a cross-cultural analysis of cannibal women in texts by women, which foregrounds the imbrication of cannibalism in colonial intimacies and compulsive heterosexuality.
Valerie Salez / As a multi-disciplinary artist Valerie Salez swings between a solo practice and a social art practice. Her solo works dive into the unconscious realms of dreams, myths and rituals. Valerie’s socially engaged projects involve communities of people all over the world, focusing on the politics of identity, culture, and ecological land and water issues. She grew up and has lived most of her life in Canada’s northern territory Yukon, on the traditional lands of various nations which include, Tlingit, Tr’ondek Hwech’in, and Kwanlin Dun. Her works have been included in major galleries across Canada and at significant events such as The Cultural Olympiad of Vancouver 2010 and Northern Scene (Ottawa). Valerie’s work can be found in private and institution collections such as the Canada Council Art Bank and Nova Scotia Art Bank. In 2017, in partnership with Yukon Arts Center, she received a Canada Council for the Arts New Chapter grant and produced and contributed to a Yukon wide First Nations project titled To Talk With Others which is currently on tour.
Lauren Flinner is a poet filmmaker and collagist, experimenting in translation between forms, sometimes called TVs (the variable space). Flinner’s practice has something to do with paradox. TVs’ philosophy is that of animation: the movement between (images, identities, truths). Their short films have screened internationally. Flinner’s CalArts MFA thesis animation Saw/Ate Sad Bird, a glimpse into the shallow, fast breathing of a woman afraid to leave the house, showed at Slamdance. She has worked as a youth educator in various contexts.
Sarah Rushford / i’m an interdisciplinary writer, artist, and videomaker living with my husband and young daughter in Portland, Oregon. I’ve shown interdisciplinary work widely over the past twenty-five years, most recently in solo and group exhibitions at Grapefruits and Carnation Contemporary in Portland. I’m an MFA Candidate in Creative Writing, an interdisciplinary program at Pacific Northwest College of Art, and my poems and text-art have appeared in the literary journals Houseguest, Tuesday: An Art Project, and Mother, Mother. I’ve completed residencies at Takt Kunstprojektraum, Berlin, and ArtFarm, Nebraska, and I was recently a Co-Director at Ortega y Gasset Projects in Brooklyn.
Kym McDaniel (she/her) is an experimental filmmaker and choreographer. She began working in video after a traumatic head injury asked her to radicalize her practice. Her personal work uses image collages, text, gesture, and the body to explore chronic illness, queerness/disability, and structural dissociation. She is an AmSAT Alexander Technique teacher and has an MFA in Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Lesley Steele is a writer, director + editor of short & long-form video & documentary film. Originally a New York City native, she was chosen to participate in Sundance’s Art of Editing Fellowship in 2020, and selected to appear in DOC NYC’s “40 under 40” filmmakers in 2020. Steele’s spark in experimental 16mm cinematography & analog editing is a driving force in her work, both non-fiction & fiction.
Steele’s latest doc — By Way of Canarsie, was produced in 2019 at the CoLAB with UnionDocs, and is currently on the festival circuit. The film premiered at BlackStar Film Festival, Better Cities, DOC NYC’s 2020 Virtual Film Festival and invited to screen in BAM’s 2020 Fall Virtual Series “Programmers Notebook: New York Lives.”
Lesley is currently producing her first investigative feature doc about the state of mental health and its intersection with race and the carceral system in the United States.
Her previous clients include MTV, Nickelodeon, Spotify, TED, Buzzfeed, HBO, SnapChat, NowThis and others.
Laura Conway is a human woman based out of Denver, CO who makes movies, music, and dances. Employing whimsy to confront power structures Laura’s films navigate a terrain between the grotesque and the sensual, the sonic and the visual, and the cliched and the still-possible. Her films have played at Ann Arbor Film Festival, Austin Music Video Festival, and The Museum of Human Achievement among others.
Gabrielle Garcia Steib works in archives and moving image. Born in New Orleans and frequenting Nicaragua, and Mexico, her work explores narratives through outdated processes that connect Latin America with the Deep South. She is interested in ways in which collective memory and images are used to communicate in political landscapes. Her work has been exhibited at the CAC and NOMA in New Orleans, and Museo de la Ciudad and Los 14 in Mexico City. Gabrielle received a B.A. in English and Digital Media at Loyola University of New Orleans. She has participated in residencies at Antenna, Salzburg Global, and Joan Mitchell Center. Her short films “The Past is a Foreign Country” and “Landscape Fever” were official selections of the 2020 New Orleans Film Festival.