Christian Hali

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Artist Statement:
Everything is a performance. The Pledge of Allegiance. Facebook. PTO meetings. Sex. Parenting. Holiday dinners. Birthdays. Funerals. Religion. Democracy. Terrorism. Art. We perform for ourselves as much as we do for others.

“It's the movies that have really been running things in America ever since they were invented. They show you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, how to feel about it, and how to look how you feel about it.” - Andy Warhol.

I am interested in how mediated images and narratives smuggle ideology through popular culture and mass media and how that has affected my perception of everything.

I use video, animation, painting and drawing, and recorded or mediated performances to explore my experiences and reflections on the socio-political while also commenting on and critiquing our heavily mediated environment in relation to and in reference of the day-to-day.

My practice is filtered and focused through a very personal lens of who I am and where I come from. I want to find connections between things so that they make sense to me. Making work is the way in which I try to make sense of the world.

Silhouetted helicopters in formation overhead… TV footage of mile after mile of yellow ribbons wrapped around all manner of trees… Archival footage of the bombing of Dresden… Online Chinese security camera footage of a two-year-old toddler being run over in a street twice and no one helping… Steve Austin: a man barely alive… Leaked gun-sight footage of an American helicopter gunship killing civilians in Baghdad… Digital home video of my twin toddler daughters playing peek a boo in the drapes… Blue’s Clues… Internet streams of every shape color and form on my studio laptop, on my TV in the living room and on my cell phone, everywhere, all the time…

In The Numbing of the American Mind, Thomas de Zengotita suggests that the nature of our heavily mediated environment dictates that we do not delve deep into anything, we simply move on to the next piece of information or entertainment or infotainment, everything just keeps moving. I believe that we, as individuals and a culture, are in constant motion. This condition is what it is. My work asks us to question where we sit individually and collectively and to look at the condition of our situation.

I am interested in the areas of contact, of rubbing, of friction between the personal and the societal; between the day-to-day and the socio-political, between ‘us’ and ‘them’. I suggest checking out Grover’s Oscar worthy performance of “Near and Far” on Sesame Street. You can find it on You Tube.

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