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Artist Profile

MICHELE MONSEAU
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Artist's Statement
My most recent body of work deals with time-based imagery that is focused on ideas of existential struggle and our cultural response as Americans to the struggles of everyday life. The works enclosed in this application incorporate ideas of theatricality, politics (of the body, mind, and also of gender), history, architecture, and nature, and synthesize them into landscapes that recall dreams. Using a motif of “sleeping” as the main metaphor, I am interested in how we get to the point of being figuratively “asleep” while we are conscious—do we simply lie down and drift off pleasantly because it is the easiest response? Do we take a nasty spill and become unconscious? The repercussions of the propensity toward escaping are hinted at in the images, but are definitely not spelled out.

This work was completed overseas, where the nature of existing in a foreign locale forces constant communication and wakefulness. Issues of lightness are exemplified by the ease of shedding the weight of one’s identity/history in a foreign place. By placing a person into a context much larger than that person, both historically and physically, (sleeping on the Pantheon, lying prone at the entrance of the Catedral de Barcelona), the architecture/backdrop is the physical manifestation of the weight of history. Monumentality plays a part, whether the piece is filmed in a natural setting (the ocean, on top of a mountain), or in front of a man-made structure. Mystery is important to these landscapes as well, and the viewer should perhaps not be quite sure what has happened to these figures—are they sleeping/dreaming, are they lying dead, or just relaxing?

This body of work uses location and situation, along with color, ambiguity, layered sound, and specific camera movement repeated in the composition to create cinematic and theatrical landscapes.


Media Arts Samples

 
Gone Again II Exhibition Footage
Video
 
Excerpts: Montjuïc, Magnolia
Video
 
float
Video

 

 
 
     
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