MY NEW WORK IN THE 4th DIMENSION:
While my art has evolved over the past 40 years from flat prints and collage to highly dimensional and sculptural work, I am currently expanding on several strategies for involving the viewer: interactive INSTALLATIONS and the production of VIDEOS. This has been an underlying methodology throughout my career: The costumes I created for the Santa Monica Dance Department’s production of “Circus” activated the costumes in an overarching narrative. My music-based work was presented at Barnsdall Junior Art Center in conjunction with music and dance performances, educational programs for teens and the production of a performance, slide show and video. Likewise, my Hiroshima/Nagasaki Memorial Project involved dance performance, educational and community programs and video documentation in every venue in which it has been exhibited. Most recently, I have created several installations in my studio that go beyond the straightforward presentation of the finished artwork on the wall, to formats that enable me to expose juxtapositions and relationships between the artworks and the implications of the art in a larger social context.
Opportunities for audience participation are built into the installations. The installations may be progressive or regressive in terms of adding, layering and removing elements surrounding the artwork and multimedia elements including performance, sound, photographic images and video.
In addition to projecting videos on the walls of an installation, the exhibition itself is documented in video in which the artwork becomes an “actor” in the film. Thus, the videos simultaneously animate the art and expose relationships between art, nature and culture.
THE ART WORK REMAINS A “RESIDUAL”, MEMORIALIZING AN IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE
The context and narrative established by the performance/installation/multi-media exhibition provide a heightened level of meaning to the Artwork. It is the artwork, itself, that remains after all activities have ended – but the artwork has become imbued with the experiences surrounding its presentation. The artwork becomes an enriched Memorial. In many cultures, art objects, once used in rituals or associated with events become powerful signifiers. These artworks, which stoically pervade the installations and videos set around them, become burned into memory by the viewer having experienced, through the film/installation/performance, the deeper implications it signifies.
A Post-Apocalyptic Memorial
This video is based on an immersive, interactive installation in my studio entitled “Memorials to an Endangered Planet”. Parts of the video were extrapolated from a series on the History channel: “The Earth After People” and were projected onto the walls of the installation – then filmed as they were being projected.
The videos both archive the artworks on display and place them in the context of an overarching narrative created by weaving images of the ocean, the built environment and nature surrounding my studio. The video, set in a post-apocalyptic context in the studio installation, becomes both a documentary of a “lost world” and the artistic interpretation of it.
Presentation to Collage Artists of America
September 28, 2018
Social Practice: One Artist’s Life Work (so far) – presented by Sandy Bleifer
Introduction by Carol Soucek King
Early in her career as an exhibited artist, social and political activism crept into the personal idiom developed by Sandy Bleifer. Soon she began to create art installations that became the focus and galvanizing force for the reconsideration of major historical events: the Holocaust and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Next she focused her attention on a pivotal moment in Los Angeles’s contemporary history: the revitalization the city’s downtown Now in recent years, she is further imbuing her own art with a pro-active agenda that utilizes interactive installations, video and community engagement with threads that can be seen in her prior aesthetic concerns – paper as a metaphor for life, the environment and the human condition.
Photo of Sandy Bleifer by Jack Prichett