2009 | PLAYHER: Jennifer Campbell
EXHIBITION FROM JANUARY 7 TO FEBRUARY 15
Playher is a video-based body of work that documents performances staged specifically for the camera. The exhibition explores the relationship between psychology and physicality. Performances of explicitly physical actions – some familiar, some uncommon- are augmented in various ways to suggest a novel context for the mind and body.
In each piece there is an important focus on the body’s rhythm. Like so many natural processes, each performed action is essentially binary in nature. As the body oscillates in phase between two states, the reading of the piece shifts.
For example, in the videos Playher Up and Playher Down, the artist’s body is embedded between two rectangular pieces of sturdy elasticized fabric reminiscent of the bed of a trampoline. The apparatus is rigged up and put under significant tension due to the arching and piking of the body’s torso. Also featured is a video diptych entitled Trigger. The piece shows the artist’s mouth activating the push button of a cable release and beside it the resulting mechanical movement of the plunger at the opposite end of the device. In the stop motion video Knock Out the artist awkwardly uses her feet to shadow box with the viewer and/or the camera.
Each of these pieces is meant to incite ideas that break from rational meaning and create situations that will challenge the viewer to re-examine their own actions, emotions and thoughts in relationship to the image’s framework.
Born in 1976, Jennifer Campbell grew up in Vancouver, B.C. She received a BFA-honours at University of Victoria (1998) and completed an MFA in photography at Concordia University (2004). Her work has been shown in solo shows at Dazibao, centre de photographies actuelles and Westspace (Melbourne Australia) as well as in several group shows in Vancouver, Seattle, Toronto, Montreal, and New York. She is currently working as the Director of Crawl Space Gallery, an artist-run centre in Seattle WA.