PLAY is a dedicated showcase for video and new media, serving as a platform to encourage discovery within the digital realm.
The 2016 Miami Beach edition of PLAY is curated by Jasmine Wahi and Rebecca Jampol, Co-Founders and Directors of Gateway Project Spaces, and is the first time in PULSE’s twelve-year history the call for submissions was extended beyond exhibitors and opened to the public. Wahi and Jampol selected 10 video works, from the 800 submissions received, to be exhibited onsite at PULSE Miami Beach from Thursday, December 1 through Sunday, December 4. Works selected for PLAY, along with 5 short-listed videos, will debut in a pre-fair collaborative exhibition at Gateway Project Spaces on October 26, 2016 from 6pm-9pm.
The curators were given full creative and thematic license to select works and in the process developed the thesis of “Body As…” investigating the human body’s relationship to social constructs and self-determination. “For this year’s PULSE PLAY we have curated a constellation of videos stemming from the nuanced ways in which the human body functions as a catalytic object for social constructionism,” Wahi and Jampol offer in a joint-statement, “Within Body As… we have designated loose categorizations that exemplify these phenomenon, utilizing each piece dually as a device to express these ideas and to reflect them. The overarching themes within this vision are: Individual Identity, Collective Identity, and Socio-Political Identity, which exists as the intersection of the personal and collective identities.”
The selected finalists are all working artists, ranging from the undiscovered and emerging to recognized and represented. The list of categorizations and titles being presented are as follows:
Body as Ritual: Margaret Rorison Pull/Drift, 2013, 16mm, 9 minutes
Body as War: Margarita Sanchez Urdaneta, Mouth Filled With Ash, 2015, Two-channel video, 21:12 minutes
Body as Prey: Andy Fernandez, Sandra, 2016, Two-channel video, 4:46 minutes
Body as Object: Dominique Duroseau, Addressing Baldwin, 2016, Single channel video, 1:22 minutes
Body as America: Capt. Larry, LAZY GENiUS Presents: MiSS AMERiCA, 2016, Single channel video, 6:45 minutes
Body as Machine: Jon Jacobsen, Insula, 2016, Single channel video, 2:25 minutes
Body as Memory: Diana Salcedo, Garden Conversations, 2016, Single channel video, 11:41 minutes
Body as Beauty: Rashaad Newsome, Stop Playin’ In My Face, 2016, Single channel 3-D video
Body as Alien: K. Yoland, Military Cut, 2013, Single channel video, 15:13 minutes
Body as Savory: Jessica Posner, Butter Body Politic (Butterface), Single channel video, 10:53 minutes
“These categorizations are not intended to create a unilateral definition for each piece; nor are they meant to be a straightforward assessment of the these particular social constructs,” Wahi and Jampol offer, “Some categorizations are intentionally ironic; others intentionally prosaic.” The videos offer a range of expressions of how bodies exist in time and space, beyond the expected or familiar. Take for example, how Rorison inserts gesture and movement into group dynamics, thus creating a new, fluid form of group ritual, or Urdaneta’s Mouth Filled With Ash, which meditates on mourning and mass graves through silence and poetic epithets of prose. The black female body and what it means to be black in America is put front and center in Fernandez’s two-channel examination of police brutality, Duroseau’s short, glitchy presentation and Capt. Larry’s highly charged montage. Jacobsen’s cyborg abstraction, a finalist in ShowStudio’s fashion film awards, wonders of life beyond bodies, while Salcedo compares the geometries of bodily movement with that of nature, questioning our inextricable relationship and Yoland asks if humans are the only intelligent life in our galaxy. Finally, Posner unearths society’s perception of perfect bodies in an absurd yet raw performance.
“Through PULSE’s programming platforms we are able to further expand our reach, experiment with new ideas, and partner with industry talent adding to the excitement surrounding each edition,” says director Helen Toomer. “Working with Wahi and Jampol has been a joy. They took on a herculean task and produced a compelling project that we are all very proud of.”