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Work Samples

Noelle installation mock up

Noelle is an interactive video and sound installation that uses surveillance footage of my mother’s living room-cum-hospice during the 10 months that I cared for her, and a collection of archival inkjet prints: 10 video stills representing her last 10 months. The installation uses real time compositing and chroma keying, motion inputs and a micro controller with PC, amplifier, projector, and cameras. Gallery visitors can insert themselves into the projected video and add voices, street noise and other sounds to the existing tracks.

Waiting - Requiem

2-minute segment of Waiting For Something To Happen (12:00), a video and sound installation that premiered at School 33 and screened at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Untitled Installation sound and image documentation

Site-specific paper and sound (excerpt only) installation at Essex Art Center's Elizabeth Beland Gallery in Lawrence, MA. Full title: On the last day while drawing in Iceland on Monterey Beach you were doing Tai Chi closing up shop and holding a toddler in the doorway where I was nursing on my cell phone when two women with cancer walked down the street in Baltimore as you posed in Paris and I missed you ice climbing down the stairs getting laid off and losing your mind with me watching from the crosswalk.

Radical Home

Video documentation of the 20 minute looping video installation. Center For Art Design And Visual Culture (CADVC)

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About Dominique

Baltimore City

As a performer and visual artist, Dominique Zeltzman's interest in mapping everyday moments through video and installation evolved from mapping everyday movements through choreography and video. She researches the container as a social construct and a harbor for memory, objectification, and power. A dancer and performance artist in San Francisco from 1991-2006, Zeltzman's work has been presented in the U.S. and the Czech Republic. Her narrative video, Girl Under the Table premiered in San Francisco's... more

Noelle

Early last year my mother Noelle Zeltzman, a prominent Baltimore artist, was left for dead at her assisted living facility. After reviving her by placing a water-soaked sock in her mouth, I hastily moved her, my child, and myself to the house we had just emptied to sell and committed to caring for her 24 hours a day. In order to fulfill a previous commitment to a five-week video job in Massachusetts, I hired two 12-hour aides and installed an Arlo surveillance camera through which I could monitor her (and them) from my phone. The footage was stunning— the room curved by the fish eye lens, the light changing from white, blue, yellow, orange, and to black-and-white when the camera switched to infrared at dark. Unable to leave her, isolated from my community, and overwhelmed, I chose to treat the experience as a living art project and continued the surveillance. Now, sorting through hours of video and audio footage that document her steady return to the womb— legs crossed, elbows locked, hands clenched, knees bent, hips and trunk flexed— I am watching myself witness the process of death while participating in my own.

Untitled Installation

On the last day while drawing in Iceland on Monterey Beach you were doing Tai Chi closing up shop and holding a toddler in the doorway where I was nursing on my cell phone when two women with cancer walked down the street in Baltimore as you posed in Paris and I missed you ice climbing down the stairs getting laid off and losing your mind with me watching from the crosswalk.
Blue hand-pigmented 13’ images of people in stages of leaving, growing away, and dying paper the walls of the Beland Gallery in Zeltzman’s immersive site-specific sound installation. Relentless domestic internal monologue permeates the space. We hear the artist and her daughter narrate interview transcriptions of people discussing their associations with leaving. We hear the child practicing mandolin - the same songs over and over. And we hear voice mail messages from her mother with dementia asking where she is again and again. Accompanying 36”x7” images of paintings on photocopies of the original portrait snap shots, scanned, and printed again, mimic the transition and departure of the subjects who leave behind physical traces and memory.

  • Untitled Installation documentation

    Panoramic Photo: Paula Driscoll
  • Untitled Installation sound and image documentation

    Site-specific paper and sound (excerpt only) installation at Essex Art Center's Elizabeth Beland Gallery in Lawrence, MA. Full title: On the last day while drawing in Iceland on Monterey Beach you were doing Tai Chi closing up shop and holding a toddler in the doorway where I was nursing on my cell phone when two women with cancer walked down the street in Baltimore as you posed in Paris and I missed you ice climbing down the stairs getting laid off and losing your mind with me watching from the crosswalk.
  • Untitled Installation documentation

    Photo: Paula Driscoll
  • Untitled Installation documentation

    Photo: Paula Driscoll
  • Untitled Installation documentation

    Photo: Paula Driscoll
  • Opening

    Untitled Installation opening at Essex Art Center's Elizabeth A. Beland Gallery in Lawrence, MA 2016
  • Leaving

    print, leaving, daying, growing away, leaving, nursing, trace, memory
    Study in being left, watching one growing away, dying, or losing their mind. 36”x7” archival inkjet prints (select images of larger collection) Paintings on photocopies of snap shot portraits, scanned, and printed again, mimic the transition and departure of the subjects who leave behind physical traces and memory.
  • Leaving

    Study in being left, watching one growing away, dying, or losing their mind. 36”x7” archival inkjet prints (select images of larger collection) Paintings on photocopies of snap shot portraits, scanned, and printed again, mimic the transition and departure of the subjects who leave behind physical traces and memory.

Waiting For Something To Happen

A Baltimore City public defender offered me what they called “mesmerizingly boring and sometimes beautiful” surveillance footage regularly viewed in preparation for clients’ trials. I took the six DVDs and converted the obscure format into something editable— the same thing over and over, an empty street, a blue haze from the “blue light camera”, a lady resting with her groceries, girls walking with umbrellas, and wildly swinging and zooming images of young black men the operator expected to catch in acts of crime. I extracted eight minutes and made Waiting For Something To Happen, a video and sound installation that juxtaposes the drama of a potential crime with the predictable day-to day. The piece screened at the Baltimore Museum of Art on a monitor with headphones, and at School 33 Art Center in a room-sized installation. In the room the viewer becomes immersed in the immediacy of the video and sound. People in the images become performers for and collaborators with the viewer because of their size and proximity, and the viewers’ shadow and mobility. Miniature video stills hung on an adjacent wall. One peered into them—the voyeur. When in the room, one felt the focus of the turning and shifting video—the watched.
I am creating Waiting II, videos to be projected in Baltimore City public spaces.This time I will be using footage from the controversial and newly launched Baltimore City body camera initiative. The images are intimate and abstracted; the motion of the officers’ bodies disorienting. Police surveillance footage, usually reserved for the eyes of control room operators, will be projected in the very neighborhoods it depicts. Subjects of scrutiny will witness the culture of assumed guilt. Roles will be reversed as citizens watch the watchers watching. Waiting II will also include faux surveillance footage created by participants who reclaim how they wish to be presented.

Radical Home

A swarm of ladies crawl, sneak, squat, and drag themselves along a pillow's desert landscape. Traversing the tricky terrain of the hairbrush, bow, and plug, each is a specter, a mouse, trapped or self-possessed, pacing her prison or marking her territory.
Radical Home is a 3240x720 video projected across three perpendicular 8 x 16 foot walls, in which the peripheral moves to the forefront.
The piece examines the concepts of objectification and power through the metaphor of the container as a social construct. The container is both a form of oppression and a set of borders we create for ourselves. Like a good parent, such an enclosure functions as a tether that allows one to wander but not stray.
When video is used to create a space in a four-walled installation, instead of eliding the specifics of location, the video becomes the location, the container that holds the viewer. Thus the video is endowed with both informational aura, and what I would call “place aura.” Video becomes an architectural intervention.

Continuum

Videography, performance, and installation are merged in a timeline of still movements, creating an arrangement that allows the observer to dictate the figure's actions – the task she performs is contingent upon which segment they choose to view.
Continuum is a 2" x 20' x1" piece inspired by Radical Home. It is composed of 25 images exported from the 20 minute video. Each image is printed on cotton rag paper using archival ink and mounted to beveled archival foam core and vintage redwood. Images are also exhibited as discrete 2" x10" x1" pieces.

  • Continuum

    Video Stills on 20" vintage redwood, with archival paper, archival foam core, and hardware)
  • Ladies

    Video Still - 10"x2" mounted print (archival paper, archival foam core, wood, hardware)
  • Ladies

    Video Still - 10"x2" mounted print (archival paper, archival foam core, wood, hardware)
  • Ladies

    Video Still - 10"x2" mounted print (archival paper, archival foam core, wood, hardware)
  • Ladies

    Video Still - 10"x2" mounted print (archival paper, archival foam core, wood, hardware)
  • Ladies

    Video Still - 10"x2" mounted print (archival paper, archival foam core, wood, hardware)
  • Ladies

    Video Still - 10"x2" mounted print (archival paper, archival foam core, wood, hardware)
  • Continuum

    Video Stills on 20" vintage redwood, with archival paper, archival foam core, and hardware)
  • Ladies

    Video Still - 10"x2" mounted print (archival paper, archival foam core, wood, hardware)

Fourth Wall

Fourth Wall is a floor to ceiling vertical projection of a woman superimposed on a formstone covered façade of a Baltimore row house. The projected shadows in the molded concrete cast a pattern upon her body as she stands deadpan, dances, paces, and squats, searching the floor. An occasional car or pedestrian passes by. Overlaid on these two shots is a view of a sidewalk scrolling underfoot and the occasional twirl of little circling feet in shoes and pink socks. Sounds of walking are interrupted by the age-old question, “Mama?” until the repetition becomes an ambient drone. The image is mundane and cyclical, like life within the container of motherhood. Recorded questions directly address the viewer: What do you eat when I’m not there? Are you afraid to shower? What do you wear when you sleep? I don’t want to get old or die. Who can I tell that I don’t want to? Do your towels match? Are you reaching up her skirt? Is your mother dead? Want to come over for dinner? Some questions are poignant, some are jarring, most are dull, and all are incongruous.

Careful

A performance and sound work, Careful explores a woman's daily balancing act. In a skirt and heels she navigates a 6 foot step ladder, precariously mounting and squeezing through it, placing her body in dangerous and pseudo-pornographic positions. She is at once mother, bread winner, and handyman, climbing the ladder of success or futility. She is accompanied by a litany of warnings, a comprehensive list of the caution labels in her home. Upon reaching the last rung without using her hands, she collapses over the top and revives herself, balancing on her hips like she is flying, pressed down by gravity yet soaring within the domestic/public spheres in which she navigates her life, in the drag that accompanies her personae. She slides inside, in painful and awkward poses, holding each as long as her body can tolerate. She exits slowly, dragging across the floor, her arms outstretched over-head, knuckles scraping the ground. The audience is in the round, close enough to feel endangered but ready to pounce in to catch her.

  • Careful

    photo of performance: Charlotte Keniston
  • Careful

    (video documentation of live performance: Gianfranco Mirizzi) I stand on one foot for an extended period of time; first on the toilet, then in the kitchen sink, the stove, the kitchen table, and the bed. The verticality of the shots with the leg disappearing into the top of the frame suggest the rest of the woman, massive and teetering. The premise is contrasting femme drag with the domestic. The thin roles we claim and act out are exposed and contradicted in the quotidian atmosphere.
  • A Mild Hurt

    Excerpt of MFA thesis, Radical Home: Container as Social Construct, Seducing the Ghost Through the Lens of Video and Performance
  • Careful

    Photo: Charlotte Keniston
  • Careful

    Photo: Charlotte Kensiton
  • Careful

    Photo: Charlotte Keniston
  • Careful

    Photo: Charlotte Keniston
  • Careful

    video still Performance documentation: Gianfranco Mirizzi

Balance

A lower leg in varying stockings and heels stands on one foot for a long time; first on the toilet, then in the kitchen sink, on the stove, on the kitchen table, and on the bed. The verticality of the shots with the leg disappearing into the top of the frame suggests the rest of the woman, massive and teetering. Femme drag contrasts with the domestic. The thin roles we claim and act out are exposed and contradicted in the quotidian atmosphere.

  • Balance

    video still
  • Balance

    video still
  • Balance

    video still
  • Balance

    video still
  • Balance

    I stand on one foot for an extended period of time; first on the toilet, then in the kitchen sink, the stove, the kitchen table, and the bed. The verticality of the shots with the leg disappearing into the top of the frame suggest the rest of the woman, massive and teetering. The premise is contrasting femme drag with the domestic. The thin roles we claim and act out are exposed and contradicted in the quotidian atmosphere.
  • Balance

    video still

Kitchen

I hoist myself onto the kitchen table, kitchen counter, and stove. I attempt to move around but am constrained by the tight and narrow space and my yellow hi heels. I was thinking about enclosed areas, discomfort, vulgarity, precariousness, awkwardness, absurdity, sexiness, and the opposite of sexy. Also, the multiple roles we play and the positions in which we place ourselves physically, theoretically, and politically. The piece implies unadorned nudity, contained and trapped. My dowdy white and yellow striped shirt-dress contrasts with the open toed, sling back, stacked-heel shoes with a labia-like frill, and the pseudo-pornographic poses. I am doing a performance with the camera, not for it, responding to its confines and how it creates the space I am trying to fit into.

  • Kitchen

    video still
  • Kitchen

    video still and print 15”x22” cotton rag, archival ink Top image of triptych with following two images shown
  • Kitchen

    video still
  • Kitchen

    video still
  • Kitchen

    video still
  • Kitchen

    video still
  • Contained

    video still and print 15”x22” cotton rag, archival ink Bottom image of triptych with preceding two images shown
  • Contained

    video still and print 15”x22” cotton rag, archival ink Middle image of triptych with preceding and following images shown

Ramey

I traveled to Paris to find the home my father lived in during World War II, and from where he and my grandparents fled the Nazis and French Nazi collaborators. The shots are static: an exterior of the building with cars and people passing by; interior from the serene courtyard focusing on the same door; low angle shots of the building windows; and the lush garden of the concierge who helped hide my family. The subtitles tell the story of their persecution, but the focus of the video is on the building and the ghostly nature of a heavy history surrounding us as we go about our days, oblivious. Reading the text becomes a dramatic act while the images are hypnotic, verging on boring in their duration.
My videos involve endurance on both sides of the camera. Relying on long takes with no camera motion or angle modifications and with few edits—the works reveal the relative lack of activity on my part as videographer and call on viewers to wait for something to happen or change.

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Dominique's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.