Both Players Move Artist Reception with Erin Johnson and Jessica Hankey
6:30p: Q&A with Jessica Hankey and Le Survivant (2020)'s Marjorie Annapav.
Join us on Friday, January 31st, 2020, for an artists’ reception with artists Jessica Hankey and Erin Johnson for Both Players Move. The event will include a Q&A with Hankey and the subject of her short film Le Survivant, Marjorie Annapav.
Both Players Move, featuring Salidas y Entradas / Exits and Entrances (2018) and Le Survivant (The Survivor) (2020), marks yet another collaborative exhibition between contemporary peers at SPACE. This time between Jessica Hankey and Erin Johnson, two artists who blend theatricality and sight-specific video to blur the boundaries between individual lives and sociopolitical realities.
Hankey and Jonhson have been artistic and curatorial collaborators since graduate school, with highlighted works including the curatorial vision behind 2016’s An Ocean Trapped Behind a Wall (University of New Mexico) and 2018’s video installation, Salidas y Entradas / Exits and Entrances (Rubin Center for the Visual Arts, El Paso, TX). Living in Maine at one time or another, Hankey and Jonhson are also both past Kindling Fund grantees, a statewide regranting program administered by SPACE, on behalf of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
In Both Players Move, we find the tension between fact and fiction reimagined. Through a proliferation of imagery comes an instability of representation; communicating truth becomes a balance of rehearsal, improvisation, and performance whether the act is fantastic and imaginative or of habitual norm.
Take, for example, their three-channel video Salidas y Entradas / Exits and Entrances (2018). Here Hankey and Johnson worked with applied theatre facilitator Gina Sandi Diaz to offer performance workshops at public daytime senior centers managed by the city of El Paso’s Parks and Recreation Department. Using the senior center as a stand-in for the rest of the world, the elders tell each others’ stories while enacting social and geopolitical imaginaries for the camera.
The expanding and contracting representation of self is furthered still in Hankey’s single-channel video installation, Le Survivant (the Survivor) (2020) which looks at the 1979 record sale of William Nelson Copley’s collection of Surrealist art through the lens of former sex worker Marjorie Annapav, who married Copley a year after the auction in exchange for $600,000. The short film follows Annapav as she works with a performance coach to develop a one-woman show about her life.
How do we value human beings across their lifespan? This is another line of questioning through Both Players Move that holds special significance in a place like Maine, where a rising median age, compounded by ruralism, has led to increased isolation in elder communities. How do we show visibility and subjectivity among populations that feel increasingly withdrawn from the public eye? How can generations broker experience with other generations? In Both Players Move, Hankey and Johnson don’t formulate the answers but explore open-ended possibilities with their subjects, going off-script from the discourse of aging in America.