Views From the Avant-Garde Special Event: Dani Leventhal

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Views From the Avant-Garde Special Event: Dani Leventhal
Dani Leventhal,
USA | 70 minutes

Dani Leventhal will present a program of her work, including the premiere two new videos (Sister City and Nikole) and a teaser for a work in progress, on the occasion of her receiving the 2013 Kazuko Trust Scholarship Award Grant.

Platonic (2013, 20:26)
Sister City (2013, 4:39) premiere
Nikole (2013, 4:00) premiere
Hard As Opal teaser (2013, 1:22)
Draft 9 (2003, 28m)


“The camera becomes an extension of my body and a means of making experiences material … I don't consider my work diaristic because I am using the camera for understanding the world rather than simply recording it.”—Dani Leventhal

Dani Leventhal’s work expresses an absolute and fearless ongoing effort to connect—in more ways than one. Her videos to date represent a prolonged and intensive engagement with the world around her. This engagement is deceptively casual at first glance, but Leventhal has an acute eye for striking images that bring her, and by extension the viewer, into close and unflinching contact with her surroundings and the lives of others. Those images are then organized into an unpredictable succession of fleeting glimpses and impressions collected according to what she describes as “an emotional logic,” and her distinctive and often startling practice of montage explicitly recapitulates the work of forming connections, linking fugitive moments of tender lyricism and stark reality, candid and sometimes harrowing anecdotes, and attentive close encounters with human and animal life in enchanting conjunctions of disparate sounds and images that form an irresistible stream of consciousness flow. There are bends and rapids ahead, with shifts of tone and emphasis that can be by turns graceful and abrupt, but always unexpected and vivd. Leventhal’s videos remaining open and purposefully unresolved, and they constantly renew our apprehension of the living world. These are the works of an artist who is forever striving to be in the moment.

Leventhal on her work: “I start with a subject that I care deeply about. I concentrate on fear, desire, anger, confusion, and love.
I concentrate on the emotional relationships between humans, humans & animals, and humans & their environments.
I am particularly interested in the way we develop based on our experiences in childhood, and then the process of undoing it.The work takes multiple forms and encompasses a broad range of themes, ranging from the explicitly political to the mundane and domestic.

Dani Leventhal is an assistant professor of drawing at The Ohio State University. In 2009 she received an MFA in film/video from Bard College.  Shehas screened her single-channel videos at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, the Gene Siskel Film Center, PS1, Cine Cycle, the Chicago Underground Film Festival, Union Docs, the New York Film Festival Views from the Avant Guard and Anthology Film Archives. Leventhal has been the recipient of the Wexner Center Film/Video Residency, the Milton Avery Fine Arts Award and the Astraea Visual Arts Grant. Her drawings are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and Yale University. For more on Dani Leventhal go to: danileventhal.org.

Series: Views From the Avant-Garde Special Event: Dani Leventhal

Venue: Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center

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