Nicole Miller’s “Believing is Seeing” for LACMA9 Art + Film Lab
30 Oct 2014
In anticipation of Nicole Miller’s work being featured in Ballroom’s sixth installment of Artist’s Film International, here is a review of her previous solo show at LACMA:
Entitled “Believing is Seeing”, LACMA commissioned Miller to nine interviews of select Redland residents for the Lab’s oral history hour tours in order to identify subjects for new artworks. This year and a half long collaborative project showed Miller’s interest in mining “stories that residents feel deserve to be told” about their lives and communities, “[and belief that] the stories individuals choose to present are a great signifier of the values of a community.” Her works explore “subjectivity and self-representation as tools wielded for the possible reconstitution of lost histories, dead fantasies, or even broken physical bodies.”
The journey that Miller describes could be summed up as an exploration of self-representation. Miller is not a documentarian, and LACMA’s charge was not to create a series of photojournalistic biographies representing the sites that compose the LACMA9 initiative. Rather, Miller regularly uses documentary practice to “give people space to self-represent.” Some of the circumstances depicted in past work include a man recalling the amputation of his arm, young people dancing explicitly at a club, a conductor performing, and a yogi engaged in transcendental meditation.
Artist’s Film International is on view November 22-January 11, 2015 at Ballroom Marfa,