Shana Moulton: My Life as an INFJ – online artist talk

20 March, 2023, 18:00 Online

Page Not Found initiated in 2021 a collaboration with the staff and students of the Master Experimental Publishing (XPUB) of the Piet Zwart institute, Rotterdam, which resulted in the publication of a “Special Issue” – the format the Master adopted for presenting their trimestrial research –, and its launch at Page Not Found.In 2023, the third chapter in this joint investigation will summon the ghost in the (game) machine. Role play is a prevalent and natural form in video games to embrace their artificial worlds. Even in its most traditional form, playing a game entails accepting its rules and willfully stepping in the magical circle of their storytelling — where the Real is suspended and the Imaginary rules. Magic resides where rules and rituals apply, as noted by Dutch historian Johan Huizinga: ”just as there is no formal difference between play and ritual, so the ‘consecrated spot’ cannot be formally distinguished from the play-ground (…) All are temporary worlds within the ordinary world, dedicated to the performance of an act apart.”

However, this magic circle often lacks spirituality: most game worlds unimaginatively replicate the mechanisms of Capitalism — competitive materialism, capital accumulation and instrumentalisation of Nature, all justified by an overarching rationality. The same game worlds often mirror in their imagery the patriarchal exploitation of women. The XPUB students are thus invited with guest editor Lídia Pereira to explore games as gateways to alternative systems of belief and values. Central to this exploration are holistic relations to Nature, integrating care as an essential component of their practices, such as witchcraft and shamanism. Beyond the Nature/Technology duality, can games and machines contribute to re-enchanting the world?

To contextualise the publishing of this third Special Issue, Page Not Found invites guest speakers to contribute on this topic. Our first guest this year is artist Shana Moulton.

Through her performances, videos, and multidimensional installations, Shana Moulton creates worlds at the threshold of absurdity and truth, catharsis and cliché, the material and the spiritual. The artist positions herself in the role of an individual moving with worry and wonderment through environments designed from autobiographical experiences, subconscious associations, and fantasy. Ascribing healing properties to the banal trappings of everyday life, Moulton’s works elicit a potent empathy on the part of the viewer that allows for these narratives to continue beyond the immediate experience of an artwork. Shana Moulton’s video work has been screened and exhibited internationally, including at Art in General, New York, Migros Museum, Zurich; Contemporary Museum of Art, Uppsala; Rencontres internationales Paris/Berlin, Paris; Aurora, Edinburgh; Dark Light Festival, Dublin; Impakt Festival, Utrecht; Internationale Kurzfilmtage, Oberhausen; Broadway 1602, New York; and Gimpel Fils, London. Moulton’s performances have been presented at venues including The Kitchen, New York; PERFORMA 09, New York; Aurora Picture Show, Houston; Electronic Arts Intermix, New York; The Bluecoat, Liverpool; Socrates Sculpture Park, New York; among others.

Join us on Monday 20, starting at 18:00, here!

We kindly thank Stroom Den Haag for supporting this program!

Image credit: Shana Moulton, The Undiscovered Drawer, 2013, video.
© Shana Moulton/Collection Frac Normandie Caen