Topsy Turvy is the first of three collaborative works with video artists Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry. Their films focus on themselves as material, exploring the dynamics of race, history, and their own relationship as a couple. I provided sound design, which uses samples from minstrel songs based on “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” to complement their use of Topsy Turvy dolls. The work was part of the exhibit, “Legacies: Contemporary Artists Reflect on Slavery” at the New York Historical Society (June 16, 2006-January 2, 2007).
Cut is the second in a series of video works by artists Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry for which I provided sound design. The work is a non-narrative film that uses the artists themselves as subject material. It shows the couple cutting each other’s hair with a straight razor. I have included samples from minstrel songs and from the opera “Samson and Delilah” to accompany the stark ambient cutting sounds already present. It was first exhibited as part of McCallum and Tarry’s solo show at the Conner Contemporary Art gallery in Washington, DC (June 23-July 29, 2006).
Exchange is third in a series of collaborations in which I provided sound design for the video/film artists McCallum and Tarry. The piece was part of their solo show at Caren Golden Fine Art Gallery in New York (May 17-June 23, 2007). In this installation, McCallum and Tarry give each other a blood transfusion, referencing “one drop” rules, race, and identity. Sounds used include recordings of civil rights struggles in the 1960s and ex-slave interviews to evoke historic and emotional remembrance. 4 minute continuous loop.