exhibitions.html Current

Current Exhibition:

The Other Interview

David Snyder

Saturday, May 24th - Sunday, July 27th, 2014
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 24th, 4 - 8 pm
Hours: Sunday 1 - 4 pm or by appointment

Martina }{ Johnston Gallery is pleased to announce “The Other Interview,” an exhibition by David Snyder, including a new series of videos which explore the performance of the self in the absurdly amped social space of the job interview. In these works, which reflect Snyder’s recent experience, the artist answers a series of generic interview questions - “What are your strengths and weaknesses? “How do you deal with conflict?” - in the hysterical and inappropriate voices of persona he introspectively observed himself suppressing during these formal inquisitions.

David Snyder, “The Other Interview/Rogue Gallery” (Still), Digital Video, 2014.

David Snyder writes:

The Other Interview/Rogue’s Gallery consists of a series of “portraits” – framed video monitors - each one presenting a specific series of emotionally charged verbal responses to a set of questions from what seems to be a very generic job interview. This project stems from the experience of interviewing for a series of teaching jobs, a novel experience that required a highly streamlined and unfamiliar level of self-censorship in order to effectively present a coherent (if one-dimensional) sense of professional “self.” At a certain point it dawned on me that this interview process was a great example of a way in which one’s words and use of language coupled with the performance of an appropriately professional persona can have dramatic and immediate consequences with direct bearing on one’s own life. The job interview is the ultimate real-life incantation – if you weave the right spell, you suddenly find yourself with an occupation, a salary, health benefits and a 401K.

Within the rules of the standard job interview, one’s ability to privilege clarity of communication largely determines the effectiveness of this incantation. Unfortunately, as a horrifying consequence of this, I found myself almost completely unable to resist the impulse to indulge in what amounted to truly inappropriate verbal and emotional logorrhea. The process itself felt so artificial that I found myself wanting to emphasize the artifice by indulging alternate personae or divergent voices and very real – though suppressed – emotional states, specifically anger, panic, and despair.

These videos are amplifications of necessary omissions, an attempt to give unspoken, aberrant feelings and voices their moment in the spotlight.

David Snyder, “The Other Interview/Rogue Gallery” (Still), Digital Video, 2014.

Also presented at Martina }{ Johnston will be David Snyder’s recent video “Cents and Incantations” in which the magic trick “Goodbye Mr. Lincoln” is used as a model for how we use language to “conjure” our reality.

To think of language or the use of language as a kind of magic or supernatural phenomenon is in part an acknowledgement of the power of language. But built into this equation is also the tacit understanding of the volatility or instability of language – we all know that there are inevitable, unforeseen consequences, a reciprocity of inverted forces that come to bear on whomsoever casts a spell. Words fail us, and they do so frequently.

David Snyder, “Rant”, Digital Video, 2010.

Please join us for an opening reception on Saturday, May 24th, from 4 - 8 pm.

All quotes from David Snyder, “The Other Interview” Artist Statement, unpublished, 2014.

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