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Press Release

THE RUBELL FAMILY + Conner Contemporary Art announce the sixth in a series of art events:


EXPERIMENTAL VIDEO (6) : Slippery Slope
curated by Janet Biggs


Saturday, August 6th - 6 to 8pm


Curator's statement: Slippery Slope looks at balance, both physical and psychological, and the struggle to maintain a sense of self in the face of difficult or extreme situations. From the frozen Arctic to the comfort of one’s own bedroom, the artists in Slippery Slope identify the illusive nature of self definition using visual poetry, humor, and endurance. Just as one touches the horizon of personal understanding, the ground starts to roll underneath, cascading both body and mind into a topsy turvy spin down a slippery slope. 




Katja Aglert - Winter Event antifreeze, 2009, 6:31 
Courtesy of the artist


Janine Antoni – Touch, 2002, 9:37 
Courtesy of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University and the artist


Patty Chang - Losing Ground, 2000, 6:30 
Courtesy of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University and the artist


Coble/Riley Projects (Mary Coble and Blithe Riley) - Ascension/Immersion, 2009, 12:30 
Courtesy of Conner Contemporary Art and the artists


Maria Friberg, Monika Larsen Dennis – Driven, 1998, 4:30 
Courtesy of Conner Contemporary Art and the artists


Martin Kersels - Pink Constellation, 2001, 20:16 
Courtesy of Deitch Archive and the artist


Katja Aglert’s 2009 video, Winter Event antifreeze was filmed during a sailing residency in the High Arctic. Aglert documented her attempts to follow Fluxus member George Brecht’s instructions in his piece "Winter Event," by melting a piece of ice in her hands whenever she was on shore. Winter Event antifreeze exposes the “behind the scenes” absurdity and humor of her earnest attempts to recreate Brecht’s act in the Arctic.


In her 2002 video, Touch, Janine Antoni is shown walking a tightrope on the beach in front of her childhood home in the Bahamas. As she walks, the rope dips down to the level of the horizon under her weight, creating the poetic illusion that she is walking on the horizon, halfway between water and sky. Antoni has said that, “as I was walking I started to notice that it wasn’t that I was getting more balanced, but that I was getting more comfortable with being out of balance”.


Patty Chang’s video Losing Ground, 2000, depicts Chang in a white shirt, business-like skirt, and heels, on a lawn that is rolling uncontrollably beneath her. As Chang tries to walk through her suburban surroundings she lurches, lunges, and falls. The viewer is left to wonder if she has lost her balance and stability or if the world around her is quaking out of control. 


Mary Coble and Blithe Riley’s collaborative 2009 video, Ascension/Immersion shows a solo performer (Coble) slowly climbing into and out of a decaying spring house. Using a split screen, the video allows viewers to simultaneously watch as Coble drops through a hole into a standing pool of water and at the same time labors to climb out through a hole onto the roof. The repetition of these duel acts becomes a Sisyphean performance of internal/external rhythms and endurance.


In their 1998 video, Driven, Maria Friberg and Monika Larsen Dennis, both dressed in two-piece suits, sway back and forth in a seductive dance that turns into a violent struggle. The slow motion footage crops both dancers at the neck and thighs, giving the viewer a focused look at the interplay of passion, power, and desire while concealing the gender of the performers. 


In Martin Kersels video Pink Constellation, 2001, a fixed video camera captures the interior of a girl’s pink bedroom as the entire bedroom rotates in space. The bedroom is occupied alternately by a teenage girl and by Kersels himself. The girl looks graceful and balanced within the rotating room; while Kersels’ bulk is thrown clumsily about. Eventually, the room becomes a battlefield as Kersels tries to protect himself from flying furniture that can no longer stay nailed down. 

for further information: 202-588-8750 /


@ Capitol Skyline Hotel * : video lounge / bar / pool
10 "Eye" Street, SW - Washington, DC 20024 | (202) 488-7500