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Deconstruction

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Click here to read <em>Fez</em>'s Soundtrack is Full of Mysteries, Too

The soundtrack to Fez officially released on Friday, at a pay-what-you-like price (with a minimum of $7). Because the entire game is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, some enterprising folks went and opened the sound files in a spectrogram and, voila, they found even more clues. Or they're Easter eggs, or some other kind of secret stuff. More »

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Stacy Kranitz

The Other

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My project engages with history, representation, biography, personal narrative, and otherness in the documentary tradition. Each year in Pennsylvania, 500 people come together to reenact the Battle of the Bulge. During the reenactment, I portray Leni Riefenstahl and behave with soldiers, as she would have. I am intrigued by the complex story of a woman with a problematic set of morals. My work aims to understand people beyond the constraints of good vs evil. I have inserted myself into the Nazi reenactor photographs to subvert the viewer’s instinct to dismiss these people as different from themselves. This allows me to reflect upon atrocity, delve into my own relationship with my Jewish heritage, and contemplate the camera’s ability to re-imagine history.

Much of our conception of history is based on images. Historical images have been filtered through media and propaganda. These images become history as generations pass. Images are the dominant force that shape the public imagination. My images of the reenactment are part of the deconstruction process by which images first represent and then replace history.

The next phase of this project will explore Riefenstahl’s life between 1962-1977 when she lived with the Nuba in Sudan. I will visit the same Nuba tribes to focus on the disjunction between her fetishized images and my own exploration of the Nuba’s complex modern reality. The Nuba were victims of genocide during a recent civil war and it has deeply impacted their culture. They were forcibly relocated to camps and Islamicized. Hundreds of thousands died from warfare and starvation.

My project asks how we live in a world where genocide takes place in continuum? It reflects on the history of the documentary tradition as it poses new ways of expressing identity in relation to ‘otherness’. This project deconstructs the notion of the photograph as document, its power as a tool of propaganda, as a witness to history and a call for change.

 

Bio

Stacy Kranitz studied film and photography at New York University. Her work focuses on the ways we express aggression and violence in our daily rituals, habits and pastimes. Additional themes in her work include the relationship between music and culture, the emotional growth of children and environmental racism. She is interested in the theoretical underpinnings that bind together the evolution of the documentary tradition. Her work looks to explore important social issues while commenting on this tradition and challenging its boundaries.

Her clients include Adbusters, Dwell, Elle, ESPN, Entertainment Weekly, Forbes, Fortune, Men’s Journal, Mother Jones, Metropolis, Newsweek, New York Times Magazine, People, Rolling Stone, Spin, Vice, Wall Street Journal and Wired.

She was awarded a Young Photographers Alliance Scholarship Award and also received a Story Project Grant from the California Council for the Humanities. She has shown her work at galleries in NY, CA, LA and FL.

 

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Stacy Kranitz

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Head Study 1, (2011), acrylic-transfer-color pencil on panel, 17 x 23 in

Head Study 6, (2011), acrylic-color pencil-graphite and transfer on wood panel, 8.5 x 11 in

Head Study 5

Survivor, (2011), acrylic-aerosol-transfer-graphite-color pencil on wood panel

Survivor (detail)

Natural Disaster, (2011), acrylic-arosol-graphite-color pencil on masonite and wood panel, 22.5 x 20.5 in


Natural Disaster (detail)

Protector

White Demon, (2011), acrylic-color pencil-graphite on wood panel, 18 x 30 in

Artist Statement

Jason Thielke’s work demonstrates aesthetic elements that encompass both contemporary and traditional techniques much like modern architecture. This style emerges in deeply personal, figurative works, which comfortably contrast hard lines with soft features and mixed emotions. In the past, the artist’s process of drawing, composing, and transferring images has mirrored the planning, deconstruction and reconstruction phases of urban gentrification.

This new body of work utilizes that same process to negotiate the complexity of human nature.

Later works speak to Thielke’s fascination with behavioral juxtaposition within the individual. The conflict between one’s ability to implement self control and compulsion to manipulate and constantly self-gratify emerges as a reoccurring theme. Jason Thielke’s drawings illustrate this struggle with mathematical precision. Constellations of the human experience, the artist utilizes simple, structural forms to portray stark contrasts within the spirit of his subjects – swirls representing natural beauty and positive energy; straight lines referencing intentional thought and manipulation used to influence others. These figures depict the idiosyncrasies of human perception, examining the dynamics of body language, eye contact and spiritual interaction.

Jason Thielke earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Northern Illinois University School of Art. His work has been featured internationally in galleries and art fairs, with solo exhibitions in Denver, Portland and Seattle.

Jason Thielke on Escape Into Life

Jason Thielke’s New Print Head Study 1

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