Views From the Avant-Garde Special Event: 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.