The Vilma Gold Studio in London has just opened an exhibition by LA based Jennifer West. The exhibition is showing four of her new video works. West is known for creating innovative videos by experimenting with the surface of celluloid film attacking it with various processes and chemicals.
The new exhibition by Jennifer West takes as its inspiration heavy metal(s) with two of the films being entitled ‘Heavy Metal Sharks Calming Films’. West is known for making use of Super 8, 16mm, 35mm and 70mm film and deliberately manipulating the celluloid through performance based activities such as coating the film with nail varnish, getting skateboarders to skate over strips of film, or dragging the film through tar has continued her experimental techniques with this new exhibition.
‘Heavy Metal Sharks Calming Films’ were inspired by recent research stating that heavy metal music has a calming influence over sharks underwater. In the films, West chose to use Super 8 copies of scenes from the Jaws films as well as the trailers and then applied black dye containing heavy metals, in this case iron and zinc vitamins. Whilst the materials used demonstrate innovative creativity the technique of application was particularly ingenious, West and her associate Monica Kogler applied the dye by whipping the film with their dye soaked hair whilst head banging to heavy metal. The results are vivid, hallucinogenic images and whilst the film images are still recognizable behind the smeared dye the final product exhibits a experimental vibrancy that is fascinating to watch.
Screening alongside these two films are ‘I ♥ Neutrinos: You Can’t See Them but They are Everywhere’ which uses scientific film of neutrinos which have been hand inked and ‘Mascara Rorschach Film’ which is comprised of mascara smears on celluloid. The exhibition is running until the 8th of January 2012.