Lisa Birke

Excerpts from my MFA Thesis work entitled "Pictures in an Exhibition", a six-channel video installation exhibited at the University of Waterloo Art Gallery in April of 2013. For an extended version of the works please see "Pictures in an Exhibition": installation documentation, University of Waterloo Art Gallery, 2013" also posted on this channel.
I am a multi-disciplinary artist situating myself between the tradition of painting, digital video and performance art. Inspired by aspects of Maya Deren, Pipilotti Rist, Cindy Sherman, and Bill Viola my video work attempts to examine both the follies and the profound aspects of the human condition; specifically how the ‘self’ navigates both natural and virtual realities. My work questions whether the female can feel at home in nature, art, and myth, realms where she is so often laid to rest.
Women are rarely allowed to author their own fate in cinematic space. They are carried along by a familiar plot line and are caught in a sticky web of mythology that defines their every move. In my performances, I too am directed by social and cultural expectations, but there is an underlying ambiguity—at times humorously overt at other times painfully subtle. This ambiguity situates the work in a liminal site between beauty, terror, the sublime and a languid sadness. It peels away at the complex layers that make up woman’s relationship to her own image and the big screen; sheer guts and muscle power reveals what lurks just below the surface of the projected representation. The videos attempt to hold up a cold and manly, pink-icing-coated steak against the viewer’s eye, pre-empting the inevitable poke.

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Lisa Birke

Lisa Birke Plus

A selection of digital video and mixed media installation work by the contemporary Canadian artist Lisa Birke


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