Thursday, June 3, 2010

Nancy Douthey: Nine Swimming Pools and An Interruption

Check out Surpik Angelini's article on Nancy's Nine Swimming Pools and An Interruption. Way to go Nancy! An excerpt from Angelini's article follows:

"Exploring the visual qualities of photography and video as well as the socially and politically expanded field of performance art, Douthey's recent work included in her Master's thesis exhibition, Nine Swimming Pools and an Interruption, combines both expressions successfully. The artist filmed her "jumps in the void" between October 2009 and February 2010, in nine videos shown simultaneously on a gridded screen. The unedited three- to twenty-two-minute video segments document repeated actions: descending from her car, approaching the pool, jumping in and getting out in wet clothes. At first, the cacophony of local sounds and the handheld camera's jittery images seem to be part of the natural chaos of an ordinary scene. A closer look reveals nine staged events in separate sites: one at the artist’s home, seven in her neighborhood, and another in a university campus.

Trespassing properties in her neighborhood, the artist sneaks into seven unoccupied houses for sale with pools. Douthey gains access to the backyards of the unsurveilled houses in between showings to film her pool jumps. At the university campus, the pool was unattended for a shorter period, so Douthey was caught in the act and reprimanded by authorities who saw her project as an inappropriate and inconsiderate act in relationship to the country’s current state of red alert. "What if someone had tried to jump in and save you?” they asked. Next to this loaded social and political commentary, Douthey curiously points out that the most accessible pool — her own — was the one she resisted most. Subverting the male gestures objectifying the female subject, the artist's feminist immersion and embodiment are the roots of her own Becoming."