Organized in conjunction with Whitechapel Gallery, London, Ballroom Marfa presented the fourth season of Artists’ Film International, a program that showcases international artists working with film, video and animation. In 2012 Ballroom Marfa’s Associate Curator, Erin Kimmel, selected LA-based Dan Finsel whose video installation I could be anybody, I could be somebody. showed in the south gallery. Additionally, each of the eleven participating institutions selected one artist from their region whose works were screened as part of the international program. Ballroom Marfa’s center gallery was transformed into an interactive screening room for the viewing of the entire selection of works for the duration of the exhibition.
Originally mounted in 2010, I could be anybody, I could be somebody. centers around the video I Would Love Farrah, Farrah, Farrah (I), a cut-up, restructured document of a series of performances by a fictional but often unstable character — Dan Finsel — who is constructed from a a version of Finsel’s “authentic” self. Mirroring the structure of a sitcom but shot in front of a green screen, Finsel repeats lines he has culled from t teenage melodramas, specifically those of 90210‘s Brenda Walsh and characters played by the late Farrah Fawcett. The elasticity of Finsel’s emotions, severed from any backstory, combined with Finsel’s repetition, lends unexpected moments of philosophical clarity to the work. Appropriated lines such as “the past is the past, the future is the future,” and “I’m a private person, I’m shy about people knowing things,” open up into epithets and political slogans that interrogate themes such asas time and reality television.
Displayed on a flat screen monitor opposite fluorescent lights and situated on a white reflective Rosco Show Floor, the installation is an idealized representationof the physical set used in the video (Finsel’s bedroom in a Chinatown walk-up).
AFI 2012 was organized by Erin Kimmel.
Each international venue that participates in AFI nominates a moving image work from an artist who lives and works in their country. For a full list of AFI participating institutions please click here:
This program has been made possible by the generous support of the Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston, Patrick & Lindsey Collins and Ballroom Marfa members. Special thanks to Rocky Barnette, Sean Di Ianni, Katy Rose Elsasser, Cory Lovell, Baker Montgomery, Riley O’Bryan, Ignacio Perez Meruane, Rosa McElheny, Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles, and Ryan Young.