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Boxed

2017, 2-channel Video Installation (Loop 2:25) Variable Dimensions, Approx: 11' x 27' x 8' Performers: Mandy Morrison, Samantha Siegel, Tiara Francis Director of Photography: Adan Rodriquez As the American proclivity of success and achievement is partially defined by home-ownership, and at the very least ‘having a roof over one’s head’, living apart from this norm, segregates those who have neither and casts them as ‘disposable’.

ModBrut

2017, TRT: 3:36 (1:00 Excerpt) Single-Channel Video Installation 40" x 54" x 8" Participants: Leah Michaels, MJ Neuberger, Parastoo Aslanbeik, Bryan O'Neil, Mark Durant, Aimi Bouillon, Mitchell Noah Working with a group of student volunteers and faculty, I decided to explore the Brutalist / modernist eccentricities of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County campus.

Arcosanti

2016, 4:00 excerpt, TRT 11:00, 4-channel Video Installation, Dimensions variable Arcosanti is a projected experimental town with a molten bronze bell casting business in Yavapai County, central Arizona, 70 mi (110 km) north of Phoenix, at an elevation of 3,732 feet (1,130 meters). Its "arcology" concept was posited by the Italian-American architect, Paolo Soleri (1919–2013). He began construction in 1970, to demonstrate how urban conditions could be improved while minimizing the destructive impact on the earth.

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2008, 3:20 (Two-Channel Video) Working collaboratively with youth as part of the Blue Sky Project we create handmade costumes that reference native American culture and the Elizabethan stage, and generate a series of intimate performances that flout the restrictions imposed by formal theater protocol.

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About Mandy

Baltimore City - Station North A&E District

Mandy Morrison's picture
As a child, our family moved several times across U.S.,  meaning that our physical  geography shifted constantly. This sensitized me to the affects of varying types of space; be they geographical, cultural, or mediated. Different environments -whether physical or psychological- can affect both behavior and attitudes about movement and possibility.  Early works, such as "Padded Room", and "Desperado", focused on  dichotomies between interior life, gender, and mediated... more

Housekeeping

Password: clean
2018, Single-Channel Video Installation with Audio, TRT: 1:43 (Looped Video)
12 x 26'

Performers: Mandy Morrison, Tiara Francis, Sammantha Siegle
Director of Photography: Aimi Bouillion

In this recent video installation, I reference the slapstick comedy of silent films. In them, the protagonists are often working people, encountering circumstances that challenge their human limitations or undermine their efforts at keeping up with expectations. In Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times, the assembly-line pace far outstrips the character’s ability to keep-up and adhere to what is required.

In Housekeeping the protagonist is a middle-aged professional woman who is being challenged by youth, class and time itself. Seated placidly and alone in a hotel room, she is, at alternate moments, in situ with a pair of young hotel maids who are straightening her bedspread, beating her with brooms or mopping her naked body on a bathroom floor. The background audio plays an ad for anti-aging products, along with the sounds of running water.

This aging female’s professional body ricochets between poses of entitlement, invisibility, interclass intimacy and naked combat against young uniformed domestic workers in their attempt to smooth, clean, embrace or destroy her.

  • Housekeeping

    Password: clean 2018, TRT: 1:32 Single-Channel Video Installation 12' x 24.5' Performers: Mandy Morrison, Tiara Francis, Sammantha Siegle In my most recent video and installation Housekeeping, I reference the slapstick comedy of silent films. In them, the protagonists are often working people, encountering circumstances that challenge their human limitations or undermine their efforts at keeping up with expectations.
  • Housekeeping

    Password: clean 2018, TRT: 1:32 Single-Channel Video Installation 12' x 24.5' Performers: Mandy Morrison, Tiara Francis, Sammantha Siegle In my most recent video and installation Housekeeping, I reference the slapstick comedy of silent films. In them, the protagonists are often working people, encountering circumstances that challenge their human limitations or undermine their efforts at keeping up with expectations.
  • Housekeeping_13.jpg

    Video still from "Housekeeping"
  • Morrison_Housekeeping_bed_cuddle.jpg

    Still from Video Installation "Housekeeping"
  • Housekeeping

    Still from Video Installation "Housekeeping"
  • Housekeeping_11.jpg

    Still from Video Installation "Housekeeping"

Arcosanti

TRT: 11:00
4-channel Video Installation with Sound
9'x 23'

A reflective performative work, filmed at the sustainable community of the same name located in Arizona. In it I use physical (bodily) aural and textual expression as a conduit for exploration of the architect’s creative and personal attempt to integrate natural systems with intentional communal living.
In considering an alternative to the frenetic/wired pace of urban existence, I ventured to this community attracted by its premise, unique building structures, immersion in nature, and isolation from other communities.
The site is something of a relic of the ‘60’s and early 70’s, in which counter-cultural experiments in agriculture and urban living had gained currency. Embedded in counter- cultural idealism, the reality –as well as resistance– to seeing such ideas made manifest in the Western world is continually evolving. Yet it is emergent, and as all structures are built on thoughts, such concepts are continually being re-imagined.
While historically iconic and architecturally influential, Arcosanti’s initial premise –to be a self-sustaining community for up to five thousand people– remains largely theoretical.
In my time there, a bodily reverence for the site and its playful architecture, coupled with poetic observations about the community experience set against the scenic natural backdrop, inform the textual overlays in the piece.
Made with support from the Wexner Center’s Artist Video Program, Columbus, OH

Project begun in 2009
Completed 2016

Padded Room / Desperado

Padded Room (1999) 3-Channel Video Installation
and
Desperado, (1998) Single- channel video, TRT: 04:45

With footage I shot in 1997, I created these two pieces; one was a stand-alone single channel video (Desperado); the other was a gallery installation (Padded Room) shown at Courtroom Gallery in Brooklyn, NY.

Padded Room is all about what is hidden. I sought to create an internal womb-like space to enclose a group of people into a coddling, yet isolated interior space. Looped video images of this sexually ambiguous 'John Wayne-ish' figure could be viewed while playing on 3- oval 'windows' cut into the interior walls.

Desperado, which plays like a music video and edited to the tune of Don Henley's famous hit of the same name, was included in a number of Gay/Lesbian Film and Video Festivals and was also shown in the 2000 Whitney Biennial and a number of other academic venues. It still gets shown (albeit with parental warnings and often behind a black curtain).

The inspiration for this group of work is John Wayne and what HE means, as a man, icon and name.
Naming is a ploy used in constructing an image. Early in his film career, American icon John Wayne swapped his effeminate name –Marion Morrison– for the tough-sounding trade name that would lend credence to his gun-toting taming of the American West. Wayne’s persona was one that enhanced the proviso of Manifest Destiny-enabling the actual and cinematic distortion of other narratives.

Working the piece as a music video, with edited clips of country western music, I as the artist become a pseudo -Wayne and entertain the terrain of power and duo sexuality.

Made with the support of grants from:
Artist's Space, New York City
and the Chicago Community Access Program

  • Padded Room, 1999 Installation (Courtroom Gallery, Brooklyn, NY)

    You had to put on silver booties, then crawl up the velveteen ramp to get into the installation.
  • Padded Room, Video Instllation (Interior View) 1999

    Inside the installation with a video 'window'
  • Desperado

    Desperado, 1997 4:20 (single channel) Naming is a ploy used in constructing an image. Early in his film career, American icon John Wayne swapped his effeminate name –Marion Morrison– for the tough-sounding trade name that would lend credence to his gun-toting taming of the American West. Wayne’s persona was one that enhanced the proviso of Manifest Destiny-enabling the actual and cinematic distortion of other narratives.

All the White I Am (Photo Series) 2013-15

During the winter of 2013-15, I worked at a remote recreation facility for the City of New York. We had a number of youth groups who used our digital facility to surf the web, and print images of themselves taken with cell-phones as well as images of celebrities, downloaded from facebook or the web.

As they would often leave cast-off images in the printer I would pick-up what was left behind, and consider the overlap in our worlds. I would then combine them with a variety of other images; some performative actions of my own and some of the surrounding environment which combined urban structures, with utilitarian facilities.

Blue Sky Project Collaboration

In the summer of 2008, I spent 6 weeks working with rural young people in northern Illinois at an innovative artist's residency, called Blue Sky Project. The residency paired working artists with young people in the creation of new work.

During my residency we focused our attention on creating performative pieces that examined 'context' ; what a space meant, what were its expectations, and how could one disrupt those expectations.

We had the use of spaces and grounds of a local community college.
Young people chose the locations and created their own costumes for each perfomative experience.

Blue Sky ran from 2006-2012 and was located initially in Illinois north of Chicago before relocating to Dayton where it was affiliated with the University of Dayton from 2009-12.

Big Man

2-Channel Audio (with stills from performance), 2017

This audio piece is based on the US Live Arts performance in February 2017 at the Queens Museum in Flushing, NY. While the original performance is a short (7 minute) monologue, I expanded this as a 2-channel audio work using contrasting female voices. The idea behind "Big Man” focuses on the attributes of ‘bigness’ and other such metaphors ('huge') in the Trumpian lexicon. By using two female voices and persona, the performance meshes the language with the subtext - about power and visibility- and of its real intentions.

  • Big Man

    This audio piece is based on the US Live Arts performance in February 2017 at the Queens Museum. While the original performance is a short (7-minute) monologue, I expanded this as a 2-channel audio work using contrasting female voices. The idea behind "Big Man” focuses on the attributes of ‘bigness’ and other such metaphors ('huge') in the Trumpian lexicon. By using two female voices and persona, the performance meshes the language with the subtext - power and visibility-of its real intentions.

Playing Defense Collaboration with NYCArts Cypher

Playing Defense, (7:00) 2011-2012

Over the course of several months I worked with the NYCArts Cypher youth working on how their break-dance practice could be integrated into the architectural setting of Fort Jay on Governor's Island.

In this presentation, we explore and challenge the physical “setting” of a military fortress by pitting the rigor and freedom of break-dance against the discipline and demands of military life.

The video was shot at Fort Jay on Governor's Island, a national park and a historical landmark. Formerly this was one of several military fortresses that defended New York Harbor's commercial interests, including the export of cotton from the South during the Civil War. The completed video piece was presented as part of a dance performance with NYC Arts Cypher at the Brooklyn Museum (2012) and at the Lumen Festival for Video and Performance on Staten Island.

Made with funding from The Council on the Arts & Humanities of Staten Island

Cake, A Performance

Dixon Place/Chasama Performance Space
New York City
2004
TRT: 10:00

Performers:
Mandy Morrison
Kelly Kivland
Rebecca Davis
Nora Stevens

Text and Audio Design
Mandy Morrison

Set Design:
Mathias Neumann

Video Effects:
Jeff Morey

Using the construct of Marie Antoinette' s stance (and purported quote) toward her peasant population, "Let them eat cake!", I worked with collaborators to generate a multi-media performance loosely based on the facts of her life.

Some of the visuals were derived from 1960's pop culture; which included a vintage album cover of a woman sitting poised in a cake ("Whipped Cream and Other Delights), as well as tracks ("A Taste of Honey") from the album as background audio. We also used a hair styles and matching waitress costumes to reflect the era.

The dancers perform as angry waitresses who serve up real cake from from a tier of the Antoinette 'Dress" to audience members, as the cake-sitting 'Marie' quips facetiously about her pesky subordinate 'help'.
The main character derides all who are below her royal 'station' and at the performance's end, the waitresses turn on their 'Mistress' and attack her with knives and destroying the cake/dress she sits in.

Initial Public Offering

2001-04, 3:00 (excerpt, performance documentation)

Participants
Kelly Kivland
Rebecca Davis
Nora Stevens

And with help from
the University of Minnesota's Art Department

Locations
Downtown Minneapolis
Cuchifritos Gallery, Essex Street Market, NYC
and
the outdoor plaza, Metropolitan Museum of Art

On three separate occasions, I did a performance piece titled “Initial Public Offering” to arouse questions from a public accustomed to seeing lavish corporate promotions of new products targeting them as potential consumers. I distributed promotional buttons with a logo and query: “Who Decides What Matters?” The product being pitched to consumers­­–The Co-Dependent Suit– which were two connected orange jump-suits such as those used in the prison system and maintenance industry- had no tangible use.

My interest was to generate dialogue about the relationship between capitalist output, and the values purportedly represented by such products.

Originally commissioned in 2001 by the University of Minnesota's Visiting Artist Program

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