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Karen Ostrom
Brooklyn, NY

ARTIST STATEMENT: My current practice with photography and video has developed out of a much larger photographic practice involving a series of tableaus about a fictional utopian/dystopian fishing village called Holiday in Hope, where I play ‘template’ characters (‘boy’ and ‘girl’) as a means to discuss socio and economic issues within the dynamics of a seaside industrial economy and what it means to construct a society born of idealism. Although still growing this project, I’m using it more effectively as a launching off point for related but also independent works in video, animation and installation that explore abstract and linear narrative structures based on the factory worker, labor, automation and gesture, and the idea of interconnectedness.

One of the primary characters in the village is the Glovemaker maker of the handglove, a morphed hand and latex glove. The handglove has become its own series of works, including tableaus, installations and animations. I am currently working on a cycloramic installation consisting of a series of animated fingerglove looping projections (variation of the handglove). Created for projection within a darkened room, the twenty or more animations are variations of V-etude#1 (see documentation video).

In an attempt to look more closely at some of the issues addressed in two of my cycloramic installations as well as to find a way of showing the work beyond the gallery experience, I reinterpreted them as animations. Smoking Gun was made for the project room at MOCCA in Toronto for the CONTACT Photography Festival in 2007. It was 5’ x 140’ and put the viewer amidst a stampede of sawhorses and the two characters playing a version of ‘Cowboys & Indians’. Big Game, 2005 was an installation based on a photograph taken by an unidentified photographer in Africa during the 30s of a showdown between a hunter and a lion and put the viewer in the precarious place of the original (unidentified) photographer. The animation enabled me to integrate the original photograph into my tableau version.

Although un-related to the core project, the video The End exemplifies and underscores my interest in narrative structures and is another direction I am taking my work in video. The End is the closing credits to a movie never made, however the credits play out 'in order of appearance' providing clues to the imagined cinematic experience.


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