MoMA PS1

Frances Stark

14 Oct 2011 - 29 Mar 2012

© Frances Stark
Film still from My Best Thing. 2011
Courtesy the artist and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York; Galerie Buchholz, Cologne and Berlin; Marc Foxx, Los Angeles; and greengrassi, London.
FRANCES STARK
My Best Thing
14 October, 2011 - March, 2012

Frances Stark (American, b. 1967) is a Los Angeles-based artist and writer whose work explores image-making and the written word. Known for her works on paper that often reference the acts of drawing and writing, Stark also makes videos, sculptures, and live performances that are suffused with self-doubt, speculation, and vulnerability. She regularly draws from popular culture, literature, and her own personal life, often exploring expectations and assumptions about gender that inflect her identity as a woman, artist, teacher, and mother.

First presented at the 54th Venice Biennale, Stark's My Best Thing is a feature-length animation in the form of a serialized soap opera, constructed from interactions in online video chatrooms. The female protagonist's flirtatious discussions with random participants soon expand beyond sex into broader topics including film history, politics, and protest, and she gradually grows fond of some of her interlocutors, who transform from strangers into confidants and collaborators. Produced using a text-to-speech animation program from the scripts of virtual encounters, My Best Thing highlights the manner in which current communication technologies allow for both greater intimacy and anonymity, giving rise to new kinds of behaviors and relationships.
 

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