The worlds and characters that I produce have a kind of extremeness to them. They are burlesque, they are drag figures, they are intensely femme but then also femme in a way that has been specifically persecuted. During the past 16 months I have been working on a series of 3-4 video installations, the first part of which, Ballroom, was presented at Zhou B Art Center and Rosenfeld Gallery. Ballroom was a direct outcome of me moving to a new environment, Chicago, USA. The locations used in Ballroom were all within Chicago: The MacLean Ballroom, a Video Arcade, a Bowling Alley, my first apartment in the city. At the heart of this project is the loneliness and isolation of arriving to a new place; the dream that motivated me to come here and the unraveling of that dream. The use of location is a thread deeply woven into my work. The desire to work on-location and the search for environments was naturally followed by Forest of Ornaments, which was exhibited at the Sullivan Galleries as part of a group exhibition entitled A Constellation of Instances. A Forest of Ornaments explored my home in Israel, a rural house belonging to my grandfather in Russia, a beautiful theatre space, and an ornamentally designed house in Chicago. I have used this series to explore the concept of an abstracted self existing and intuitively performing within designed and discovered spaces. In my current project, The Lost Of Frank Barcelona, I search for the very American contrast of harsh landscapes and sequined fabrics, the lonely yet claustrophobic nature of open spaces. I then move into a menacing territory of force feeding and rural confinement. My exaggerated images recognize the way that culture and history have performed gender over time.
My videos are so often accompanied, the glass work provides for me a means to explore fragility and poetics. I deliberately make the objects beautiful, yet also sinister – because I strive to express the tension between their potential delicateness and their capacity to harm. The glass works are, to a degree, “power objects,” as well as receptacles of the dislocations, the unsettling emotions and relationships, and the estranged selves depicted in the videos. They operate as tools that bring out the darker aspects of my characters – and of us by proxy.
The combination of the video and glass in space allows me to envision a place recalled from a past dream, simultaneously gone, and yet constructed around the viewer—one that offers a provocative exploration and subversion of engendered, ideological, and eroticized power relations.