Zombies Identified

Zombies, identified is an ongoing exploration of the human body in an in-between, or contradictory state, employing various art media.  Interweaving discomfort and beauty, zombie narratives can open up conversations about the most vulnerable and grotesque aspects of being human.  These projects set up a framework for “zombie” that places it between several countervailing pairs: alive and dead, the pronouns “he/she” and “it,” individual and group, legible and illegible.  The hope is to take on the notion of the zombie, in an attempt to exonerate this portrayal of in-betweenness from negation or stigmatization.

The primary manifestation of Zombies, identified takes the form of an evolving slideshow lecture which has been performed in 2011, 2012, and 2013.  The presentation uses a clip from the film Zombieland (2009) to pose questions and criticisms about contemporary uses of the word “zombie.”  By interspersing drawings and animations with clips and images from several zombie films and videogames, the aim is to draw focus toward the zombie as a learning tool about the grotesque and ephemeral aspects of being human, rather than a sub-human other used to promote negative stereotypes. The in-betweenness of the zombie is celebrated, putting particular emphasis on bodily boundaries and the threshold between individual and group.  An essay on this subject will be included in the forthcoming book: Zombies in the Academy.  Further writing on this subject is documented in a thesis paper Zombies, identified, which can be found in the California College of Arts library.

Zombies, identified has been presented at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, San Francisco State University, California College of the Arts, Tuesday Salon in San Francisco, The San Francisco Urban School, Observatory in Brooklyn, Cal Arts, Unspeakable Projects in San Francisco, Macarthur b Arthur in Oakland, The San Francisco Dork Club, and at the Wassaic Project.

  • Zombies, Identified

    Zombies, Identified
    Slideshow Lecture, Queen’s Nails, San Francisco, CA. 2013. Photo: Sarah Thibault

  • Zombies, Identified

    Zombies, Identified
    Slideshow Lecture, Observatory, Brooklyn, NY. 2011.

  • Selected, limited, guided by a master plan

    Zombie, examined
    H: 40 in. x W: 32 in. Ink, Paper. Letterpress print.

  • Zombie (Swallows the world, swallowed by the world)
    Looping Video. Videography: Kristina Willemse

  • Framing Cannibal (Standing)

    Framing Cannibal (Standing)
    H: 90 in. x W: 58 in. x D: 20 in.  Wood, Fabric, Acrylic, Metal, Snake skin, Cardboard

  • Decomposing Eternally, Rendered Membrane, Interstitial Screen

    Decomposing Eternally, Rendered Membrane, Interstitial Screen 
    H: 72 in. x W: 64 in.  Acrylic, Fabric, Wood, Ink

  • Selected, limited, guided by a master plan

    Selected, limited, guided by a master plan
    H: 40 in. x W: 30 in.  Ink, Acrylic, Fabric

  • Neighboring, (e)merging, leaving (a trace) 
    Video, 1 minute 45 seconds. 
    Editing: Jeremy Solterbeck, Denise D’Amico
    (with zombies from Zombies Ate My Neighbors, 1993)

  • Linear Selected/Skeletal Figure  
    Wire, acrylic paint, pipe cleaners, tape, projector.
    Installed at the Luther Barn, Wassaic Project, NY. 2010.

  • Zombie Illegible (Shaun of the Dead)

    Zombie Illegible (Shaun of the Dead)
    H: 24 in. x W: 18 in.  ink, paper

  • (De)Territorialized Figural Imprint

    (De)Territorialized Figural Imprint   
    Wire, acrylic paint, pipe cleaners, tape, projector. Installed at the Luther Barn, Wassaic Project, NY, 2010.

  • Grotesque

    Grotesque
    H: 11 in. x W: 8 in.  ink, paper

  • Selected Abjection Looping
    Video, 56 seconds. Editing: Denise D’Amico
    (with zombies from Metal Slug 3, 2000)

  • Formation of the Mass

    Formation of the Mass
    H: 8 in. x W: 11 in. ink, paper

  • Thriller

    Thriller
    H: 8 in. x W: 11 in.  ink, paper

  • Zombie (Letters)

    Zombie (Letters)
    H: 2 in. x W: 2 in. ink, paper

  • Marilyn Eastman, Home

    Marilyn Eastman, Home
    H: 40 in. x W: 28 in. Ink, Color Pencil, Paper

  • Dermal Fence, Zombie Hands

    Dermal Fence, Zombie Hands
    H: 40 in. x W: 28 in. Ink, Color Pencil, Paper

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