Carolyn Gennari (Central Fall, RI)

April 2019. HD video and audio, performance series featuring museum collection objects. 16 mins and 45 secs.

Within Elsewhere, objects are constantly being revalued, reinterpreted, and reactivated within the museum’s walls. Unlike traditional museum collections, Elsewhere objects are recast in a variety of different roles and take on different lives at any given moment. As such, objects circulate, lose stability, and are not confined to any single identity. Fascinated by this changing state of objecthood, Gennari created a series of surrealist video vignettes that explore different forms of object-driven performance.

Allowing items to surface from the collection, she selected materials that provided personal associations that propelled her into a state of enactment. Within the film, objects slip boundaries where they assume an enhanced, even arbitrary value, becoming magical, decorative, representational, fictive, or cognitive at any given time. For instance: a 1980’s exercise machine becomes a horse, a series of vintage plastic toys become microphones for different lounge acts, and an old family portrait a portal to whimsical landscapes.

Challenging traditional object narratives, this project explores the collection not as inert physical materials but instead as actants with the potential to affect visitor interaction and play. Ultimately, this work prompts the following questions: What things surface from the collection and provide associations that rise and propel play? When, where, and how does an everyday entity take on a theatrical life and contribute to spectacle? How can artifacts perform outside of their ascribed or past use?

Featured Performers: Furen DaiErick MedelParasol BEmerie Snyder

Above: Public watches screening of The Object of This Exercise at the opening exhibition.


Above: Gennari records various film scenes in front of different background sets.