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Laura Parnes, Janie 1978-1982 a.k.a. Blood and Guts in High School


Participant Inc.
253 East Houston Street, 212-254-4334
East Village / Lower East Side
March 4 - March 29, 2009
Reception: Sunday, March 8, 7 - 9 PM
Web Site

From March 4 – 29, 2009, on the occasion of the PARTICIPANT PRESS publication of Blood and Guts in Hollywood: Two Screenplays by Laura Parnes, PARTICIPANT INC is proud to present Laura Parnes’ Janie 1978-1982 (a.k.a. Blood and Guts in High School), a multimedia installation inspired by Kathy Acker’s influential novel. This is the first public presentation of this work in its entirety, and will be accompanied by a series of events organized in conjunction with the publication of the artist’s screenplays, with an introduction by Chris Kraus.

In appropriating Blood and Guts in High School, Parnes pays homage to Acker’s radically inventive use of literary appropriation and intertextuality. As in previous video works (such as Hollywood Inferno (episode one); Heidi 2, a collaboration with Sue de Beer, 2000; and No Is Yes, 1998) a narrative thread is maintained while structure and language become unstable, invoking the schizophrenic culture that Acker attempted to write into her work. Acker’s novel imagined the sexual life and endurances of the adolescent outsider, Janey Smith. Parnes re-imagines Janie through a video seri es that explores chapters in her life between 1978 and 1982. Set in New York at a time when Reagan was coming into power and punk was emerging, each episode presents a day in the life of Janie, interrupted by news events that surreally meld into her personal experience, as well as eerily presage current world affairs. The installation includes life-size portraits of the many sides of Janie’s personality, as well as a display of Parnes’ interpretive material based on Acker’s novel.

Laura Parnes has screened and exhibited her work widely in the US and internationally, including Turin GLBT Film Festival, Turin, Italy; Schroeder Romero, NY; Kunsthalle Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland; Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany; Cinematexas, Austin, TX; Pacific Film Archives, Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA; John Connelly Presents, NY; Vtape, Toronto; Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius, Lithuania; Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand; PS1 Contemporary Art Center, a MoMA Affiliate, NY; Miami Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL; and Brooklyn Museum, NY. Her solo exhibitions include Alma Enterprises, London; Locust Projects, Miami; Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, LA; Participant Inc, NY; Deitch Projects, NY; and in a two-person screening at The Museum of Modern Art, NY. Parnes has been awarded residencies including the Sally and Don Lucas Artists Programs at the Montalvo Arts Center; the Wexner Center; Cuts and Burns Residency at The Outpost; and Harvestworks. Her work has received the support of the Experimental Television Center and the New York State Council on the Arts. She is the co-founder and current board president of Momenta Art, Brooklyn, NY. Parnes has held teaching positions at New York University, The New School, and currently teaches at Bennington College. She received her BFA from the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Kathy Acker’s Blood and Guts in High School is reproduced with the generous cooperation of Matias Viegener, Director of the Kathy Acker Literary Trust.
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