Movie Reel Project
at Outpost for Contemporary Art
The Audience Reacts
by Julia Sherman
On television and film productions featuring a live audience, there comes a time when the extras are asked to cycle through all possible reactions to the actual show. This footage will be edited into 2 second segments later on, but the shoot turns into a kind of endurance test of artifical emotion. This strange excercise is a much-anticipated moment for extras to act on-camera, and the result is some kind of super-audience, with endless stamina and unparalleled enthusiasm. In The Audience Reacts, we never catch a glimpse of what the audience may or may not be watching on stage/screen. They dart back and forth between extreme reactions, booing, clapping, laughing and hissing in an infinite loop, suddenly becoming the stars of their very own movie. See an example here.
Julia Sherman mines folk traditions, canonical art history, feminist theory
and a range of personal anxieties to create tableaus of fantasy, philosophy
and interrogation. Her formal compositions and finely wrought images cannot conceal her
attraction to the homemade, the experiment and the discovery. Although documented in photographs and video, Sherman's work must be
understood as performance and is often translated best through elaborate
installations. In recent work, Sherman reflects on artifice and entertainment in the film
industry, the theatre and pornography.