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Sarada Rauch: Jellyfish Piano

AC Institute
547 West 27th Street, 6th floor
May 16 - May 26, 2012
Web Site

Jellyfish Piano:

Reinterpretation gives history more than one perspective. With this in mind, I reinterpret traditional narratives using contemporary images to create modern folklore. Narratives that I use come from traditional epics, fairy tales and myths which are collections of oral traditions. An oral tradition is passed down as a broad formula. The storyteller improvises a great deal of the narrative, reinterpreting the story and inserting their own perspective and imagery. I use this same methodology of reinterpretation while making videos, and I treat them as oral tradition.

A common parallel found in traditional narratives is the mermaid. Not many other imaginary beings are as prevalent cross culturally, or have maintained popularity throughout narratives, ancient to the present day. The mermaid lives underwater and enchants humans with song. She is graceful and dramatic, much like a jellyfish.

Jellyfish Piano is a reinterpretation of the mermaid. In this video, a swimmer is transformed into a jellyfish by the underwater perspective of the camera, stripping the body of its human traits to the essential organs and limbs of a jellyfish. The swimmer’s trailing skirt and legs form the greater part of this balletic jellyfish’s movement, whose gracefulness is punctuated by the notes her feet strike on the keyboard-like lanes of a public pool. The notes of the piano keys are played each time she touches one of them with her toes.

In my work, I combine the digital with the hand made and animate static objects. They acknowledge their own silliness and because of this they can also dabble with being genuine. My work is winking at you while telling you something heartfelt.

-Sarada Rauch


Sarada Rauch is a multi media artist born in Los Angeles and based in Brooklyn, after a long stint in Germany. Rauch reinterprets traditional narratives using contemporary aesthetics by animating her sculpture and paintings with video. She received her BFA from San Francisco Art Institute and her MFA from Hunter College. Sarada has exhibited and performed at venues such as Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, RH+ Gallery in Istanbul, Winkleman Gallery at Seven, Miami, Platform Gallery in Seattle and the RISD Museum in Providence. She was also the recipient of the Tony Smith Award and the BBK Fellowship in Saxony.
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