2017

A Hand in Two Ways (Fisted)

A Hand in Two Ways (Fisted) is a looping meditation on night as space of mysterious energetic transmissions.  Animals, human bodies, children, ritual and performance are investigated as zones of conflict, desire and a visceral movement that is more felt than seen.

Directed by Dani and Sheilah Restack, 7 minute loop, 2017. Distributed by VTape

Soeur/ Sister

Souer/ Sister made with Dani [Leventhal] Restack out of felted photo blankets, water, plastic bag, lambs ear, clothing, tape, plexiglass, angle iron, chalk, foam insulation and lightbox, dimensions variable, 2017.

 

Stack for Carrington's Hyena

Stack for Carrington's Hyena, Sheilah [Wilson] Restack and Dani [Leventhal] Restack, curated by John Neff at Iceberg Projects, Chicago, IL. This site-specific installation uses sound and materials such as paper, fabric, wood and foam to fracture and re-build a projected image of the artists’ family stacked on their kitchen floor. 

Stack of the Definitions of Stack

Large usually conical pile (as of hay) left standing in the field.

Send the hyena to us. She can have the view from our window.

Circles of hay, goldenrod, yellow munsell.

I think I became the hyena once, or rather, I think I asked her to become me.

It is always easier to ask violence of another. Our bed sinks, while the leaves turn to face the sun.

You say that if I can’t stand you the doctors will change the meds. Just finish painting the chair.

Cover the yellow with the red. I want words that hold their shape. You pretend like your breath is golden smoke being released from the hyena’s ass.

DLR & SWR in response to Ann Carson’s Stacks and Leonora Carrington’s Debutante

"Video artists Dani Leventhal and Sheilah Wilson have been known to shock viewers with home-movie-style artworks that revel in taboos such as roadkill and blood, but their new collaborative video installation, Stack for Carrington’s Hyena, 2017, takes a quieter look at motherhood and parenting. A short video loop reveals the artists and their prepubescent daughter lying on the kitchen floor together, all seminude, stacked like animals napping after a feast. The slumped bodies merge into a breathing, sculptural mass. The video projection is mapped askew over a site-specific structure comprising materials such as wood, hair, a crate, and other building components, either found in the neighborhood or bought at Home Depot. In essence, the artists hunted and gathered to construct a cave; perhaps they are the hyenas of the artwork’s title. A reading of Anne Carson’s 2008 poem “Stacks” plays throughout, sounding like an obscure recipe for contemporary sculpture and life." Jason Foumberg, Artforum, 2017

Link to video of installation Stack for Carrington's Hyena installed at Iceberg Projects.

Stack

Stack, at the Columbus Museum of Art. July-November, 2017. Projection installation with Dani Leventhal/Restack. Materials include wood, paper, plastic, clothing, insulation, screen, charcoal, paint, wig and tape. Audio component. 

"The fantastic and mundane intimacies of domestic life collide in the video installations of Dani Leventhal & Sheilah Wilson. Their experimental videos use a fluid narrative structure, mixing fact and fiction, to visualize the close—even radical—connections between domestic space and larger concerns regarding motherhood, queer desire, and the environment. " Tyler Cann, curator Columbus Museum of Art

Strangely Ordinary This Devotion (SOTD)

"Strangely Ordinary This Devotion is a visceral exploration of feral domesticity, queer desire, and fantasy in a world under the threat of climate change. Utilizing and exploding archetypes, the film offers a radical approach to collaboration and the conception of family."   Aily Nash, curator for Whitney Biennial 2017

28 minutes, directed by Dani [Leventhal] Restack and Sheilah [Wilson] Restack, 2017

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    The Brooklyn Rail: Phil Coldiron
    October 05, 2017 | Toronto

    It’s an intensely open film of private ritual and wonder, the only work in these ten days where I felt I had to jury-rig an entire receptive framework on the fly to even begin to account for the work it was doing. It’s stuck with me like a rock in my mouth.

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    Cinema Scope: Michael Sicinski
    September 28, 2017 | Critic's Rating: 8/10

    A domestic mini-epic capacious enough to include witches in the heartland, the painterly use of blood or blood substitutes, Chantal Akerman and Prince, the oral application of smooth stones, gardens and mesas, the draining of a sebaceous cyst, and the enthusiastic eating of pussy. It is very possibly the film of the year.

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    Sight & Sound: Jordan Cronk
    September 27, 2017 | Toronto

    It situates the artists’ own bodies, as well as that of their young daughter, into a beautiful and strikingly carnal essay on domesticity and motherhood that unearths playfully primal impulses from both physiological bounds and prescribed notions of female sexuality.

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    MUBI's Notebook: Kelley Dong
    September 12, 2017 | Toronto

    Window Water Baby Moving (1958) comes to mind, but Wilson and Leventhal do not gawk at pregnancy or sink under the hand of a father figure, instead separating the mother from genitalia, genitalia from gender, gender from tradition, and tradition from form... Though its many abstractions may extend beyond immediate comprehension, Strangely Ordinary This Devotion eschews the belief that clarity is honesty, that honesty must always be clear, and it elicits far more than one exclamation mark. (!!!)

More Links

Cinema Scope: Michael Sicinski interviews Strangely Ordinary This Devotion directors Dani Leventhal and Sheilah Wilson
September 28, 2017

For more information and screening, contact Video Data Bank