Lenore Malen is an artist and writer who works with photo and video installation, live performance and artist’s books creating scenarios that lie somewhere between history and fiction. Through the lens of history—and humor—she explores discredited belief systems and utopian longings and the science and technologies that inform them.
In 2008 she began keeping bees in rural upstate NY and videotaping beekeepers who have devoted their entire lives to their colonies. These experiences were the catalyst for two new works, a 22 minute documentary (2009) and 3-channel video installation titled I Am The Animal (2010).
In this recent installation standard documentary footage is cut up and resembled alongside archival and found footage including kids’ home videos into a dense array of very fast moving clips. The three channels create an immersive video and audio environment that simulates the spatial and temporal flow of the hive into the landscape. Drawing from biology the clips resemble memes and the hive is re-imagined as human culture.
I Am The Animalis also an investigation into the devastating ecological crises now affecting all life forms including bees. The title is an homage to Jacques Derrida’s The Animal That I Am, which a both philosophical inquiry into the way we have anthropomorphized non-human animals and a plea against the industrialized treatment of them.
In 2009 Malen received a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, a NYFA award in interdisciplinary art, and a NYSCA SOS grant. Solo performances and exhibitions include Apexart, New York; Participant, Inc., New York; Location One, New York; The Slought Foundation, Philadelphia, Pa.; Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York; Cue Art Foundation, New York; and Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University. She performed in the role of Doctor Mesmer in the BBC Production Dickens in America (Lion TV, 2004). She has also exhibited at Pierogi’s the Boiler, Exit Art, France.fiction, Paris; Akademie der Kunste, Berlin; and Zentrum für Medienkunst, Karlsruhe. She teaches in the MFA Fine Arts Program at Parsons The New School for Design.
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