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Dominique Zeltzman

Dominique Zeltzman

Artist Work

Radical Home
video/sound installation
20 minute loop
video/sound installation
Fourth Wall
video: floor to ceiling vertical projection
Cotton rag paper, archival ink, archival foam core, vintage redwood
2" x 480"
Sorry Balance Kitchen Triptych
video: floor to ceiling vertical projection
cotton rag, archival ink prints of video stills

Artist Information

Baltimore City
Artistic Category

Media Arts, Performing Arts, Visual Arts

Artist Statement

Containment, Aura, Duration, and Domesticity. As a performer and visual artist, my interest in mapping everyday moments through video and installation, evolved from mapping everyday movements through choreography and video. I research the concepts of objectification and power through the metaphor of the container as a social construct. The container is both a form of oppression and a set of borders we create for ourselves. Like a good parent, such an enclosure functions as a tether that allows one to wander but not stray. Every faux-brick cardboard block that my friends and I used to make up the cities that snaked across our nursery school floor was a model for each of our personas: for taxonomies of class, race, religion, sexual orientation, education, political affiliation, and citizenship; and for practices of border control and punishment. By creating such classifications and parameters, we make sense of what would otherwise be chaos. Through sequestration, we at once imprison and protect, for there is safety in isolation. My work has to do with the stretchy exaggeration of time and sequence, duration, endurance, a daily litany of warnings and instructions, and the mundane practices that catalogue cycles in our lives. It looks at how different vessels and facades might capture a story or be a placeholder for the past. It is a series of incomplete, weird and fragmentary narratives, strange little histories in and of themselves. The pieces involve discomfort, vulgarity, precariousness, and the unadorned. Clunkiness is interesting. So are danger, monotony, hysteria, ghosts, tight spaces, dirty dishes, a ladder, grime, a toilet, a sink, a stove, heels, ass, a building, a door, people, cars, my bathroom, my bedroom, a skirt, stockings, a street, the fetal position, crawling, walking, creeping, squatting, the shell, balance, and my kitchen. Extended duration in art provides an opportunity to meditate, slow down, and allow our thoughts to flow unnoticed and move beyond boredom. My endurance-oriented pieces exploit time and space, simultaneously commenting on and confronting the viewer with the psychodynamics of getting through daily life. The story, if there is one, does not dominate, but shapes one’s experience just as a passing spectator, a moving car, or a whistling teakettle might, if given attention. My house is my studio, a radical place to make art. Like all domestic interiors, the home is rarely represented in history, which usually happens outside—not in the quiet, claustrophobic spaces where the female form tries to shape itself, the body remembering things in sensual and physical ways not easily conveyed with the written word. With my installation project Radical Home, I seek to create a phenomenological experience with video. I question the difference between the experience of watching or performing a live piece versus one that is constructed specifically as an interaction between camera and subject. In pondering the dichotomy or synthesis of video and live performance, I am attempting to find my answer in the concept of aura. When video is used to create a space, instead of eliding the specifics of location, the video becomes the location, the container that holds the viewer. Thus the video is endowed with both informational aura and what I would call “place aura.” Video becomes an architectural intervention. Together the walls and the video form an alchemical relationship, a dynamic and mutually transformative artistic collaboration.

Artist Bio

A video artist and performer, Dominique Zeltzman researches concepts of objectification and power through the metaphor of the container as a social construct. Her work has to do with the stretchy exaggeration of time and sequence, endurance, the peripheral, and the mundane practices that catalogue cycles in our lives. After a 15 year career as a choreographer and performer in San Francisco she returned to Baltimore where she received her MFA in Imaging and Digital Art from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is one of six artists invited to participate in MAP's 2014 Young Blood Exhibition.