Jennifer West

how we are in time and space: films and videos by Nancy Buchanan, Marcia Hafif, Babsi Loisch, and Jennifer West

This virtual event brings together four artists and their works for an intergenerational dialogue. The videos/films to be discussed are available to watch from May 14 through May 28. This virtual event is free and open to everyone. Please RSVP to receive your Zoom link. Presented by the Armory and Los Angeles Filmforum, this conversation will be moderated by curator Michael Ned Holte.

In conversation with the exhibition, how we are in time and space, Jennifer West selected two of her existing works for reconsideration in this context. Both follow the material investigation of film she began in the early 2000s, subjecting celluloid to unlikely impositions such as pickle juice or lipstick, and transferring the film to video for presentation. Her lengthy titles provide a description of the process and context, often with a measure of absurd literalism. In Skinnydipping Carbon Beach Malibu Film – In Front of David Geffen‘s House… (2008), documents the artist and a group of female friends on a public beach for which the music mogul attempted to make inaccessible. Skinnydipping on this land, and making a film of it, is both humorous and politically pointed; the title of the film makes the transgressive act explicit, though the treatment of the film renders the document mostly abstract. Rainbow Party on 70MM Film (2008) takes its name from an activity from teenage sex parties, quite possibly an urban legend, with West and three of her former students applying lipstick and bite marks to clear 70MM film leader. In their investigation of gender roles and conspicuous consumption, West’s films echo some of the concerns of Nancy Buchanan, while also expanding upon a lineage of materialist and hand-altered filmmaking.

Jennifer West
Rainbow Party on 70MM Film (70MM film leader kissed with lipstick & impressed with teeth marks by Jwest and her former students: Mariah Csepanyi, Maggie Romano & Roxana Eslemiah), 2008, 39 seconds
70mm film leader transferred to digital video

Jennifer West
Skinnydipping Carbon Beach Malibu Film – In Front of David Geffen‘s House
(16MM color and b&w film neg sprayed with fried pickle juice, painted with Bloody Mary’s using, celery stalks & ash from the Malibu fires, submerged in the ocean – skinnydipping by Renee Lotenero, Lia Trinka-Browner, Karen Liebowitz& Jwest – lit by the full moon & search lights), 2008, 5 minutes, 8 seconds
16mm film negative transferred to digital video

Jennifer West works primarily with moving image and engages its material and cultural histories, often alongside consideration of feminist art and film legacies, in exhibitions, performances, and talks. Born in Topanga, California, West lives and works in Los Angeles. She received an MFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and a BA with film and video emphasis from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. She has lectured widely on her ideas of the “Analogital” and is an Associate Professor of the Practice of Fine Arts at USC’s Roski School of Art and Design. Her writing has appeared in Artforum, Frieze, and Mousse. West has produced eleven Zine artist books which were recently acquired by the Getty Museum. Her significant commissions include Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, 2016-2017; Institute of Contemporary Arts, Art Night, London, 2016; High Line Art, New York, 2012; Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, 2010; and Turbine Hall at TATE Modern, London, 2009.