Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Kirsten Leenaars is an assistant Professor, Contemporary Practices (2008). BFA, 2000, Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam; MA, 2003, Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam; MFA, 2007, University of Illinois Chicago. Exhibitions/Festivals: Ackland Museum, Chapel Hill; MCA, Chicago; Glass Curtain Gallery, Chicago; North6018, Chicago; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; Cultural Center, Chicago; Co-Prosperity, Chicago; Traveling Tehran Biennale, Istanbul; Berlin, NY; Contemporary Art Workshop, Chicago; LOOP Festival, Barcelona; Gallery 400, Chicago; Witte de With, Rotterdam. PublicationsThe Art of the Encounter; Erik Hagoort; Looking Encountering; Staging; Steve RushtonAwards: Propeller Award; FBKVB Project Bijdrage; Start Stipendium; FBKVB; Provost Award, UIC.

During her stay at GeoAIR residency Kirsten Leenaars worked on a georgian addition to her film And Each of Us Dreams of Others' Dreams

Kirsten Leenaars:
'In my work I explore how identity is constructed, how we look at ourselves and consequently at others. As an artist I work mainly in video and photography. I am interested in how the camera can play an active role in the constitution of its subject, questioning my own role as an artist within the traditions of presentation and representation. I often use my work as a ‘platform’ for other people where they can perform themselves. In the project “We are our dreams of ourselves souls by gleams And each to each other dreams of others’ dreams” (May 2006)

I looked at aspirational dreams as imagined spaces where personal circumstance and desires intersect. I asked people about their aspirational dreams and in the end to play themselves in their dreams. The dreams are filmed in each participant’s own living room, functioning as the symbolic framework that defines each one of them. I used objects that were already part of the space and used painted backdrops to assist in the execution of the dream. The dreams in this project are my translations of their dreams into video. I would like to develop a Georgian addition to this work. It is especially exciting to me to develop the counter part for my project in a nation that is going through a time of transformation. Now that new opportunities have opened up and old safety nets are disappearing I think it is particularly interesting to ask people about their aspirational dreams. I am very curious as to how the Georgian dreams will relate to those of my American participants, living in the so called ‘land of opportunities’. The Georgian addition to my project will be shown in Chicago at Gallery 400 in March 2007.'