13 March 2012, 6:00 PM
to seek out, to explore, to doze, to snooze
An exhibition in the John and June Allcott Gallery, Hanes Art Center
13 March-6 April 2012
Opening reception following the lecture
Shana Moulton became known through her ongoing video saga Whispering Pines, in which she plays the role of "Cynthia", both a fictional figure and the artist's alter ego. Cynthia is a fearful hypochondriac who resorts to the paraphernalia of esoteric instruments, alternative medicine, and natural cosmetics to escape the boredom of everyday routine. Cynthia's home environment proves to be a magic and uncanny universe furnished with symbols and signs borrowed from art history, new-age philosophy, and advertising. Whispering Pines has spawned related performances, videos, and gallery installations, which stage pixilated, neon rainbow dream worlds in southwest landscapes using a mix of found objects and video projections. Moulton’s world is a thoroughly captivating combination of the absurd and the transcendental – a critical but humorous engagement with self-help culture, commodity fetishism, and new age spirituality.
For her exhibition at UNC, Moulton transforms the John and June Allcott Gallery into a space inspired by the term “snoezelen,” a neologism formed from the Dutch word “snuffelen” (to seek out, to explore), and “dozelen” (to doze, to snooze). “Snoezelen” is a kind of controlled multisensory stimulation used for people with mental disabilities. Rooms constructed for “snoezelen” use lighting effects, color, sounds, music, and other physical sensations to deliver stimuli, which are intended to help stimulate one’s sense of balance. The power of Moulton’s work lies in her ability to be simultaneously earnest and tongue-in-cheek, allowing viewers to both laugh and empathize with Cynthia’s ever-evolving neuroses.
Shana Moulton’s exhibition opens a two-week residency as a visiting artist with the Art Department at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her residency will conclude with a two-night showing of her acclaimed live performance, Whispering Pines, with her musical collaborator, Nick Hallet, as part of Carolina Performing Art’s Loading Dock Series. Whispering Pines will take place on Tuesday, 27 March and Wednesday, 28 March, 2012.
Shana Moulton lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She earned a BFA from the University of California, Berkeley, an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and De Ateliers, Amsterdam. She has been an artist in residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Harvestworks, New York, and has received grants and fellowships from Harvestworks, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the Experimental Television Center. Most recently, her work has been included in exhibitions at Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam; Gimpel Fils, London; The Wexner Center for the Arts, Cleveland; Bronx River Art Center, New York; Center for Contemporary Art, Brussels; Greater New York Cinema, MoMA/PS1, Long Island City; Video Dada, UC Irvine University Art Gallery; Migros Museum Für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich; Art in General, New York; Bielefelder Kunstverein, Bielefeld, Germany; Pianissimo, Milan; Contemporary Museum of Art, Uppsala, Sweden; Hessel Museum, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson; and Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City. She has performed at the New Museum, New York; The Kitchen, New York; Exit Art, New York; Performa 09, New York; Participant, Inc., New York; Portland Documentary and eXperimental Film Festival; Diverseworks, Houston; Electronic Arts Intermix, New York; Glasslands, Brooklyn; and De Appel, Amsterdam. She is the subject of two episodes of New York Close Up, a new documentary series on art in New York City, produced by Art21. A video excerpt from those episodes can be viewed here.
An endowment established in 1983 through the generosity of Nancy and Robin Hanes supports the Art Department's Visiting Artist Series. This important program brings both established and emerging artists to campus to discuss their work in public lectures and to offer individual critiques to our M.F.A. students. The Hanes Visiting Artist series greatly enriches both our academic programs and our outreach to the wider community. All lectures are free and open to the public.
Contact: Hong-An Truong, firstname.lastname@example.org
Artist Website: www.shanamoultonweb.com
For tickets to Whispering Pines, please visit: www.carolinaperformingarts.org
Image Credit: Shana Moulton, still from "The Galactic Pot Healer," video, 2010