Paper Collection marks Plumb’s second solo exhibition at the gallery.
Shannon Plumb’s cinematic studies of life’s various roles and characters explore the complexities embedded in the ordinary and extraordinary. From the humble persona of a new mother to iconic figures from the silver screen, Plumb portrays these characters with zest and humor. Inspired by the curious spirit of slapstick comedy and the physical humor of silent film legends such as Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, Plumb employs a low-fi aesthetic by using Super-8 film, stationary camera shots, long takes and hand-made props and costumes. Plumb is a one-woman show starring as all characters and acting as the creative force behind her films. The low quality production of the films and her elastic expressiveness as an actress adds to the charm of her work and pushes it beyond its obvious predecessors and influences.
Plumb’s new film Paper Collection focuses on the characters of the fashion world. Portraying herself as model, photographer, magazine editor and fashionista, Plumb delves into concepts of visual beauty and the nature of superficiality. Viewed through Plumb’s self-conscious lens of humor and naiveté, this film chronicles both the cultural significance and the accompanying absurdity that prevails in the world where surface and appearance are of the utmost importance.
Paper Collection manifests as a result of the artist’s intimate connection to the role of fashion model and filmmaker. In 1995, Plumb began a fashion career as a model for internationally renowned photographer Mario Sorrenti. Their ongoing professional relationship has influenced her work as a filmmaker and visual artist from both aesthetic and theoretical standpoints. Plumb’s work borrows from the histories of performance, photography, film and video, all of which have significant ties to the fashion world. Plumb continues to create stock conventional situations that have been passed on from Commedia dell’arte to the likes of Charlie Chaplin and the Three Stooges.
With Paper Collection Plumb has collaborated with friends and colleagues from both the fashion world and the film industry. Known for his illustrious coiffures, respected hair stylist Recine has created elaborate paper wigs and outrageous hairstyles that, along with paper dresses designed by Plumb, will accompany the film as a sculptural element to the exhibition. Also in collaboration is acclaimed filmmaker Derek Cianfrance whose editing, camera work and technical assistance aided in the creation of Paper Collection.