Jacky Connolly, Ariadne, 2019, HD video, color, sound, 50m13s.
Last Summer, one of the most prominent video artists working with the video game aesthetics, Jacky Connolly, released her new monumental work, Ariadne. Like her previous projects, Ariadne was shot with/in The Sims. It was exhibited at Down and Ross Gallery in New York. However, this time around Connolly emphasizes the porous boundaries between the tangible and the virtual by mixing video game footage with live footage. As curator Emily Watlington writes:
The fifty-minute piece is set amidst a lightning storm that splices together two realities: a virtual, seaside Italian villa created in Sims, and New York City, shot with a camera. The rupture forms a third suburban, autumnal realm. Ariadne1, of New York and played by the artist, decides she wants to disappear, allowing lightning to transport her into a virtual realm. The simulated Ariadne2 is seen with a red lightning scar upon her chest—a trace of the act, which she carries with her back into the live-action scene that concludes the film. [...] There’s a haunting soundtrack, scored by Hunter Hunt-Hendrix; a Lynchian, empty, eerily-lit diner among other suburban interiors; the ‘camera’s’ fascination with solo, silent women à la Todd Haynes’ Safe; and implied family disfunction frequently found in melodrama (weepies, ‘women’s pictures). Connolly leaves clues toward her referents: Doug Richmond’s 1985 book How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found, for instance, is stationed throughout. Due largely to the nature of the game, there are no close-ups, their absence serving to emphasize the characters’ solitude, their displacement in empty sets.
Jacky Connolly was born in 1990 in Lower Hudson Valley, New York. She gained her BFA in Photography, Art History, and Critical Studies from Bard College at Simon's Rock in 2011; she gained an MFA in Digital Arts and MSc in Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute in 2016. Selected solo & two-person exhibitions and screenings: Downs & Ross, New York; Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta; Microscope Gallery, Brooklyn; Peach, Rotterdam; Daata Editions at NADA New York; Kimberly-Klark, Queens; Bus Projects, Melbourne; and Et al., San Francisco. Selected group exhibitions and screening programs: Museum Brandhorst, Munich; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; D21, Leipzig; IULM, Milan; PAF Animation Festival, Olomouc, CZ; Ellis King, Dublin; Kimberly-Klark at Interstate Projects, Brooklyn; Et al., San Francisco; and Hester, New York. She lives and works in Bearsville, NY.
LINK: Jacky Connolly (All images and videos courtesy of the Artist)