Glory Days: Jasmine Johnson’s practice uses techniques of montage, juxtaposition and appropriation within the mediums of video, sculpture and performance to examine social relationships and proximities. A collective authorship is shared between artist, artwork and audience employing the viewer’s understanding to provide the connective tissue of a structure. By building upon familiar social structures and devising fictional scenarios, seemingly disconnected parts are unified through montage techniques and distinctions between real and represented space are collapsed.
In Glory Days (2009) footage from three separate dinner parties has been spliced together coercing unacquainted actor-guests into one hybrid conversation. The stage is substituted for the dining table as a means to analyze the structure of social encounters and performance in non-theatrical environments. The six actors were selected according to their written applications on an Internet casting website and paired for their dissimilarities with the aim of generating unpredictable discussion.
Through a process of dismantling and reconfiguring, content is collapsed into utterances accentuating the notion of superficiality within speech. The guests speak to each other, against each other and over each other, occasionally achieving moments of harmony. Polite exchanges and misunderstandings lead to bruised egos, awkward silences and uncomfortable laughter. Conversations move between topics of childhood and sexuality to personal performance and their aspirations as actors. Concerns arise about the “cut’n’paste” process of manipulation they have become subject to, commenting they are like “clay in the hands of the director”. The actors were invited to behave ‘naturally’ but the distinction between performing as an actor and the performance of an individual is often muddied.
Bio: Jasmine Johnson was born in 1985 in Brighton, United Kingdom. She lives and works in London. She completed her BA in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University and is currently studying an MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths University London.