Michelle Handelman

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Michelle Handelman makes confrontational works that explore the sublime in its various forms of excess and nothingness. Starting out as a photographer with a series of haunting self-portraits, and over the years has developed a body of work that incorporates video, performance, photography, and various forms of digital media. In the mid 90s she became best known for her documentary BloodSisters (1999 Bravo award), a feature-length exploration of the San Francisco Leatherdyke scene. "My work can be best described by theorist Helene Cixous' ideas of Visceral Feminism: aggressively traversing the corporeal landscape in its various forms of excess and undress, while simultaneously giving it up for the viewer in an overflow of visual and psychological sensations." Her videos have screened internationally including Georges Pompidou Centre, Paris; ICA, London; American Film Institute, Los Angeles, Roxie Cinema, San Francisco; Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and her performances have been featured at Performa 05, the first biennial of visual performance; Exit Art, NYC; Rx Gallery, SF; 3LD Art & Technology Center, NYC; Jack the Pelican, Brooklyn and The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art. Recent projects include The Laughing Lounge for Performa 05 curated by Roselee Goldberg; This Delicate Monster (touring); Passerby for the show public.exe: Public Execution curated by Anne Ellegood and Michele Thursz; and DJ Spooky vs. WebSpinstress M an animated collaboration with Paul Miller AKA DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid. In 2007 Handelman's work was chosen by Bloomingdale's for their Fall Art Campaign. She is the winner of several grants and awards including a NYSCA Individual Artists Grant; American Film Institute Visions Award; Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Studio Residency; New York Artists Fellowship Foundation; Horizons Foundation grant; and an Experimental Television Center Residency. Before moving to New York in 1999 Handelman collaborated for many years with Monte Cazazza, a pioneer of the Industrial music scene in San Francisco. Michelle and Monte's premiere film, "Catscan" shocked the art world through a series of guerrilla actions where Handelman and Cazazza comandeered the projector during many of the city's anti-censorship rallys. Together they built several bodies of work including "The Torture Series"; the video short "Hope" (1995 Sony Visions Award); the co-authored "The Cereal Box Conspiracy Against the Developing Mind" Apocalypse Culture 2, Feral House Press and sound effects for Jon Moritsugu's ITVS production, "Terminal USA". Handelman's collaborated with Eric Werner, co-founder of the industrial performance group Survival Research Laboratories, and through her work with Cazazza forged relationships with the following artists who have provided music for her work: Psychic TV, Coil, Chris + Cosey, Lustmord, and Larsen. Her fiction and critical writing appears in Inappropriate Behaviour(Serpents Tail, London 2001); Coming Up: the World's Best Erotic Writing edited by Michael Perkins (Kasak Books, NY 1995), Herotica 3 edited by Susie Bright (Plume Books, SF 1994) and articles about her work can be found in periodicals like Filmmaker magazine, Art Forum, and Art in America. Her work is in the collection of Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art, Russia; di Rosa Foundation and Preserve, Napa, California; Zabludowicz Art Trust, London and is represented by Jack the Pelican, Brooklyn and Participant, Inc., NYC. She lives in Brooklyn and is an assistant professor at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston. http://www.michellehandelman.com