Galeria Arsenal, Bialystok: Will Power

Shana Moulton – Whispering Pines 5, video, 2005


From 22 June 2012 to 23 August 2012
Opening: 18:00
Curator: Michał Jachuła
Place: Arsenal Gallery in Bialystok, 2 Mickiewicza St.
Artists: Shana Moulton

Will Power, prepared for Arsenał Gallery in Białystok, is the first solo exhibition of Shana Moulton in Poland. It consists of videos showing the artist’s performances held in various institutions of art and a review of videos of selected fragments of Whispering Pines, a long-term project begun in 2002. The exhibition at Arsenał will include e.g. one of the most spectacular parts of the series (Whispering Pines 10), made in collaboration with the composer Nick Hallett for The Kitchen Gallery in New York in 2010. The launch of the exhibition will coincide with the artist’s new performance, whose setting will constitute an autonomous work of the show.

Shana Moulton creates narrative work at the intersection of performance and video, with intermingled spiritual, medical and psychological themes. She may be defined as a specialist on making up strange and unique situations, which she finds in run-of-the-mill, mundane, everyday contexts. In her art, Moulton addresses the feelings of concern, embarrassment and pain. We can also identify here references to historical and artistic discourses and material culture. The artist is often inspired by atypical objects. The setting of her works, refined as to its visual and conceptual aspects, is a major element of her art. It is preceded by a long research and a painstaking process of gathering objects that are indispensable for its construction. Moulton’s work is shown both as single-channel videos on screens or large-sized projections as well as multi-channel installations with spatial elements, frequently featuring fragments of movie sets and props. Video projections make up the setting of the artist’s performances, frequently prepared in cooperation with musicians and visual artists. Music and choreography play a significant role in Moulton’s art.

The artist’s alter ego by the name of Cynthia is the protagonist of Whispering Pines. In all the episodes of the series, Cynthia is busy with daily chores, wrestling with the reality which beats her and which she often cannot come to terms with. The figure fights against obsessions and experiences mental and existential dramas. In each episode of this unfinished story, the protagonist sets herself a task and attempts to perform it. Pursuing her goal, she hurdles numerous obstacles and weathers all kinds of trials and tribulations. In many of her works Cynthia, played by the artist herself, establishes special relations with bizarre objects, which generate the narrative of her films.

Shana Moulton (b. in 1976 in Oakhurst, California) studied at the University of California, Berkeley and at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, where she obtained an MFA. She went to the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine, and studied at De Ateliers in Amsterdam. Selected solo shows: Gregor Staiger, Zurich (2011);Broadway 1602, New York (2011); The Castle of Secrets, Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam (2010); Puzzle Saga, Gimpel Fils, London (2010); Whispering Pines 6, 7, 8, The Box at The Wexner Center for the Arts, Cleveland, (2010); Erratic Anthropologies, New Commission 2009, Art in General, New York (2009); Subjective Projections, Bielefelder Kunstverein, Bielefeld (2009); Repetitive Stress Injuries, Pianissimo, Milan (2008); Whispering Pines, Contemporary Museum of Art, Uppsala (2008). Selected group shows:Witty, lo-fi works with knotty thoughts, Netherlands Media Art Institute, Amsterdam (2010); Grotesque & Arabesque – New American Video, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo (2010); Common Jive, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York (2010); 45 Years of Performance Video from EAI, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York (2009); Deterioration, they said, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich (2009); Dream Room Project, Palazzo Dalla Rosa Prati, Parma (2009); Arnhem Mode Biënnale – La Maison de Poupée, Historisch Museum Arnhem, Arnhem (2009); Landscape as Litmus, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Banja Luka (2008); Second Thoughts, Hessel Museum, Bard College, Annandale on Hudson, New York (2008); Video Stations in Public Space, County Council of Uppsala, Gävleborg, and Dalarna (2008).

Translated by Marcin Turski

The artist’s website:

opening times: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 – 18:00
admission free: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 – 12:00 (Free mornings with art); Thursday 10:00 – 18:00

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