Dawn Surf Jellybowl Filmstrip 1
Archival inkjet print
183 x 30 cm
Jennifer West uses standard products to process her films: coal-tar dye, eyeliner, whiskey, hot sauce, urine, deodorant, aphrodisiacs, skateboard wheels. And she likes to finish them in equally conventional ways, either â€śrubbed with Jimson Weed Trumpet flowers, or dripped and splattered with nail polish, or sprayed with Lavender Mist air freshenerâ€ť. Or why not with all three? West explains her approach as a product of Pacific Northwest art of the â€™90s, and hastens to add that â€śitâ€™s more DIY than Heroic Sublime.â€ť But she also feels very much part of a tradition of visceral film-making and painting, citing Tony Conradâ€™s electrocuting and pickling of film, Carolee Schneemannâ€™s emulsion handworking, Ed Ruschaâ€™s use of beet juice and Pepto-Bismol in his paintings, Stan Brakhage spitting on and scratching his negatives with his fingernails, and so on.
The works in Out of Focus are made from Westâ€™s film negatives and prints, and represent (or as she puts it, â€śpictureâ€ť) a half-second of moving film, meaning around 12 or 15 frames. The filmstrips hang on the wall and spill onto the floor, suggesting the passage of film through a projector and the eventual wastage of much of it on the proverbial cutting-room floor. It should surprise no one to learn thatâ€™s where she often finds it in the first place.