Jennifer West: “Is Film Over?”

18 Mar — 28 May 2017 at Yuz Museum in Shanghai, China

28 APRIL 2017
Jennifer West: “Is Film Over?”, Exhibition view. Courtesy of Yuz Museum
Jennifer West: “Is Film Over?”, Exhibition view. Courtesy of Yuz Museum

Yuz Museum is glad to present the Yuz Project Room exhibition of Jennifer West “Is Film Over?” from March 18th to May 28th, 2017. Jointly organized by Yuz Museum and Los Angeles County Museum of Art in close collaboration with the artist, this will be Jennifer West’s first museum exhibition in China. Five films from 2009 to 2016 representing the artist’s cross-platform thinking will be shown in the gallery, drawing from a diverse range of approaches in her artistic practice, from her intensely haptic works that involve fluids and stains of all sorts, to her more recent ruminations on film and memory.

West came out of DIY media scenes in the Pacific Northwest in 1990s, where a robust community of individuals screened and circulated audio and videotapes. As an artist and professor now teaching a generation of digital natives, she keeps on using her films, installations, performance, lectures, and writing to engage with the complexities of the total cognitive, psychic, and aesthetic shift in our understanding, perception, and uses of the recorded image.

In drawing from the music and art movements of the region as well as merging the distinct qualities of film and video to explore how the physicality of materials or actions is transferred into digital space, the artist also wants to break down the hierarchy of expertise. Her projects from the very beginning and up to the present involve collective engagement, inviting participants to perform with or intervene on the filmstrip. The early synesthetic experiments of her involved marinating, treating, and performing with film stocks before transferring the materials to video with the help of other artists, family (many of whom are also artists), and friends.

As West said it, “I want to be that bridge that’s somewhere between art and film and movies, flipping the production and reception of these mediums around. I’ve invested in all the ways in which I can make commentary through it, with it and reflect upon its relation to the world and to that place between art and film.”

Born in Topanga, California, Jennifer West received an MFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and a BA with film and video emphasis from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. West lives and works in Los Angeles. Significant commissions include Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, 2016-2017; Institute of Contemporary Arts, Art Night, London, 2016; High Line Art, New York, 2012; Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, 2010; and Turbine Hall at TATE Modern, London, 2009. West has exhibited widely in museums and art institutions internationally. Her solo exhibitions include: “Film is Dead…”, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, 2017; “Action Movies, Painted Films and History Collage”, Museo d’Arte Provincia di Nuoro, Nuoro, 2017; “Flashlights Filmstrips Projections”, Tramway, Glasgow, 2016; “Paintballs and Pickle Juice”, Kunstverein Nürnberg, Nuremberg, 2010; “Perspectives 171: Jennifer West”, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, 2010; “White Room: Jennifer West”, White Columns, New York, 2007 and etc. Group shows include: Whitney Museum, New York, 2017; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, 2015; Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2013; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, 2010; Musee d’Art Contemporain (CAPC), Bordeaux, 2008; and ZKM Museum for New Media, Karlsruhe, 2007.