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Ilana Y Harris-Babou
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Crown Heights



ARTIST STATEMENT:

I have been working between sculpture, food, and video to make ephemeral paintings. This process is documented in the moving image and sometimes leaves behind still artifacts. Occasionally I inhabit a character made from the materials in my studio, the focus of the lens, and the painterly metaphors of rap lyrics & recipe books. She is an obscured "video vixen," caught in the act of building the set surrounding her. She is the host of an alchemical cooking show, turning awkward mass into luminous gold. Framed by the angle of the lens, a pile dough becomes a mountain. With studio lighting, a puddle of latex paint adopts the depth of a lake– or the sheen of a polished marble foyer.

My character's studio is one stage upon which she can melt her own violent or tender experience of content and rhythm. She scratches this itch so hard that she peels back the synthetic skin of the image – only to find another layer of vinyl or Formica beneath it. In a moment of weakness she eats the ice cream she intended to paint with. A jug of acrylic paint slips from her hands and spills. She reaches for it, in a power grab. I am still trying to elucidate the nature of this power. Sometimes it seems contained within the space of the screen, and sometimes it extends into the substance of inarticulate social interaction.

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