Tuesday, April 2, 2013
4/3/13 Laura Parnes
County Down is a multi-platform project, combining web-based elements, a video installation and a feature film component. Mirroring rave culture and the unbridled optimism around technology during the 1990s, County Down presents a society so obsessed with novelty and consumerism that it euphorically embraces its own destruction.
The film uses the structure of youth-culture media products, such as horror and science fiction movies, video games and coming-of-age films as a barometer of cultural depression. In this live-action animation, reality and illusion intermingle, creating a highly stylized world of visual excess.
The multigenerational cast of downtown performers and artists including: Chloe Bass, Becca Blackwell, Ellen Cantor, Patty Chang, Marti Domination, Nicole Eisenman, Jim Fletcher, James Fotopoulos, Gibson Frazier, Daniel Graff, Andy Haynes, William Powhida, Emily Roysdon, Kate Valk, Stephanie Vella and Sacha Yanow. The soundtrack and musical arrangements are by Johanna Fateman, formerly of Le Tigre, and also include music by JD Samson, Wynne Greenwood, Long Hind Legs and Lesbians On Ecstasy. Costumes and styling are by GGrippo.
County Down is the story of Angel, a teenage resident of a gated community. She develops a designer drug with potentially apocalyptic side effects. The drug, called Quix, is the ultimate consumer product, highly addictive and cheap to produce. This substance is a relative of ergot, a rye contaminate responsible for St. Anthony’s Fire, inducing symptoms that include hallucinations and gangrene. It is also the fungus from which LSD is derived. Those that ingest the drug develop immunity but become unwitting carriers. Angel holds the key to the outbreak and its prevention – but her own debilitating addiction to both the drug and her self-made success clouds her judgment.
Angel is intoxicated with power and enraptured by the disaster she set in motion. As Angel’s friends band together to fight the infected adults, their social order becomes more and more distorted. Consumption becomes addiction, which, in turn, hastens the spread of disease. As the authorities close in, Angel clings to her delusions ferociously.
Laura Parnes has screened and exhibited her work widely in the US and internationally, including Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece., LOOP Festival, Barcelona, Spain; Light Industry, Brooklyn, NY; Kusthalle Winterhur, Switzerland; Overgaden- Institute for Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, Denmark; iMOCA, Indianapolis, IN; Cinematexas, Austin, TX; Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius, Lithuania; Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Whitney Museum of American Art (1997 Whitney Biennial), NY; Dunedin Public Art Gallery, New Zealand; PSI Contemporary Art Center MoMA, NY; Miami Museum of Contemporary Art, FL; and Brooklyn Museum, NY.Her solo exhibitions include; LA><Art, LA, CA; Alma Enterprises, London; Locust Projects, Miami; Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, LA; Participant Inc, NY; and Deitch Projects, NY. She has had solo screenings at the Museum of Modern Art, NYC; MoMA PS1, LIC; The Kitchen, NYC; CATE 10 Year Anniversary, Presented by the School of Art Institute of Chicago and Video Data Bank, Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago Ill; Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley Art Museum, CA; and Vtape, Toronto. She was presented by Participant Inc. in a two-person exhibition at No Soul for Sale at X Initiative, NYC, NY.