I use stop-motion animation to focus on the details of characters’ interactions. Through awkward movements and introspective gestures, the characters speak to our anxieties, frustrations and desires. I have always been fascinated by film’s ability to involve the viewer with the characters’ state of mind in a way that allows the viewer to reflect back upon his/her reaction to that which was viewed. This was difficult for me to do in painting. I wanted to work by myself, so stop-motion animation was a medium which fulfilled my conceptual needs and working method. I build the characters and get an idea of their personality through creating the body, clothing and sculpting the little heads. My process is such that the non-linear or suggested narrative evolves in the filming. Since it takes so long for a character to cross the set, 24 still frames per second, I am able to create their motivations for the movement while filming. This allows for sublimation in the process of shooting the films, similar, for me, to the process of painting and drawing. The suggested narrative can come about in a way that would be impossible to sustain if I had to explain it to actors or other people with whom I was working. I don’t have to rationalize the reasons for the characters’ movements. Once they are on film, I cannot change them, but editing allows for a more rigorous construction of the piece.
Above Images are works shown at Mireille Mosler ltd., New York, March 3 – April 11, 2009
Karen Yasinsky I Choose Darkness
Mireille Mosler, Ltd. is pleased to announce I Choose Darkness, Karen Yasinsky's second solo exhibition at the gallery. Comprised of two films and various drawings, Yasinsky explores issues of manipulation, compassion, and desire in a style that ventures into surreal abstraction without confusing the delicacy and serenity of her compositions. With an interest in memory, the reconstruction of narrative and recreation of character, Yasinsky uses Robert Bresson's 1966 film Au Hasard Balthazar as a starting point for the works in this series.Yasinsky's process operates in tandem with Bressson's film: instead of actors, Bresson used 'models', people with no acting experience, rehearsed to remove personal emotions from their lines. Similarly, in Yasinsky 's stop-motion puppet animation, I Choose Darkness (2008-2009, 9 min.) - screened at MoMA in 2008 - the dolls contribute no interpretation of their own. Instead, expressiveness is found in raw imagery and sound, serving as residual, emotional documents, stripped from the film and imbued with the artist's own visual and metaphorical associations. Characters from the movie, including Balthazar, the abused and soulful donkey and Marie, the sexual and conflicted protagonist, exist as a series of motions without resolution, nor a chance for redemption.
The stop-motion drawing animation, Enough to Drive You Mad (2009, 4 min.), is less dependent on narrative but equally charged. This time the characters are accompanied by the blind 1950s cartoon Mr. Magoo, who appears on the back of Balthazar or dances into space. The scenes erupt into abstract compositions, illustrating the different relationships as they collide and morph into one another.
The drawings in I Choose Darkness are executed in various media and techniques, allowing Yasinsky to experiment with materials, further extracting and eclipsing the original film stills. In this group of candy-colored drawings, an intricate and hermetic world is created, indicative of Yasinsky's deep commitment to the evolution of her subject.
Yasinsky holds an MFA in painting from Yale University's School of Art. Works related to L'Atalante were recently exhibited at The Baltimore Museum of Art, at The Sculpture Center in Long Island City and in a solo installation at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio. In 2002, the UCLA Hammer Museum presented a solo exhibition of Yasinsky's Still Life with Cows.
I Choose Darkness will be on view at Mireille Mosler Ltd., 35 East 67th Street. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. For more information, please contact the gallery at (212) 249-4195 or info @mireillemoslerltd.com.