Recently, my video art installation FALL was selected for an upcoming WomenCinemakers issue. It’s a unique magazine showcasing independent female filmmakers. Their focus includes experimental works that utilize artistic style and concepts. Overall, this is part of my art practice and identity.
From the website: “WomenCinemakers offers its over 300,000 readers insight into the work of emerging directors in the short film and experimental cinema sections. Women Producers, Writers, and Directors from around the world have the opportunity to present their films to the wide attention of the English-reading audience. With a mixture of newcomers and established directors, our annual anthology has featured more than 100 artists, with many of them competing in international film festivals including the Cannes Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, and the Venice Biennale.”
Two sample interview questions:
Hello Jenny and welcome to WomenCinemakers: you have a solid formal training and after having earned your B.A. in Art and Communication, you nurtured your education with a M.F.A. from the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. How did these experiences along with your current work as a curator and M.F.A. instructor influence the way you currently conceive and produce your works?
Education is an opportunity not to be taken for granted. It is a gift that allows for the time to study concepts, engage with new perspectives, and develop an artistic framework to vet ideas. Academia provides a safe space to experiment within a structured setting.
During my undergraduate studies, I worked full-time to help cover expenses. From the beginning, education became a refugee of guidance and precious commodity. Graduate school fostered creative ideas while preparing for art world realities. As an instructor, it is my responsibility to share these life lessons with a new generation.
An artist can accept or reject all ideas produced and conceived via education. Information allows one to critically think within their practice by questioning personal, institutional, and cultural bias. It can be a challenge for schooling to fit the needs of every student. As a result, research and investigation must fill the gaps. An artist’s responsibility is to highlight narratives by questioning the structures within society. The profession demands honest exploration.
For this special edition of WomenCinemakers we have selected Fall, an extremely interesting video installation that can be viewed at https://goo.gl/PqhnGE. What has at once captured our attention of your insightful documentation of the movement of Yosemite Falls is the way you have provided the results of your analysis with coherent combination between autonomous aesthetics and visual consistence. While walking our readers through the genesis of Fall, would you tell us how did you developed the initial idea?
In 2015, I was the artist in residence at the Choctaw and Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge in Brooksville, Mississippi. My grandfather’s mother, Nora Mae Nash, was born in Gillham, Arkansas and her mother was Choctaw. During the residency, I visited a sacred Choctaw site and was given three arrowheads.
Upon returning to San Francisco, I attended a Native American art auction and recorded its sounds. It was disturbing the blatant commercialization and speculative appreciation of objects from America’s original residents. For this reason, I traveled to Yosemite Falls to witness and highlight its fragile beauty standing firm against the winds of greed.
FALL documents the movement of Yosemite Falls by mimicking the slow and deliberate erosion of its protections. The auction audio features the sale of an Apache tray and Plateau beaded bag that mimics the patterns of the environment. The idea derived from my family background, residency experience, and the need to safeguard the legacy of the natural world from obnoxious profiteering.