By JAMES SALOMON July, 2021
An interview with Josephine Meckseper during her residency at the Elaine De Kooning House in East Hampton.
One of the great things to be in this studio is the spiritual aspect of the house… so late at night you’d hear all these little sounds of air purifiers and air conditioners… it kind of creates an industrial melody as the spirit of the house and connection to Elaine, who, coincidentally, had a feature role in a silent movie in the 40s where she played a witch. The film takes place in Wading River on Long Island. It’s called “The Dogwood Maiden.”
So, using that as a starting point for the film series that I’ve been doing for Guild Hall, it incorporates some of the more haunted aspects of the scene and landscape around here. It also speaks to the paintings that I have been making.
The objects in the compositions are things found here in the house. I would cut the shapes and create these ghostly outlines to give our sense of time during the pandemic, how time was moving much differently. Nobody could remember what day of the week it was, where a month would feel like a half a year, so I felt like it was a good reason to create this ghost that is present but also has passed. The same thing happened in the film, where everything is black and white where it’s very much in the moment but anticipating its’ own past in a sense. The work looks very formal but it’s conceptual because it takes in consideration all these different layers of how time moves, how we changed during the pandemic, and how the pandemic changed us.
Josephine’s film series is currently being presented at Guild Hall, East Hampton, New York www.guildhall.org
Chris Byrne’s Elaine De Kooning House artist residency program was founded in 2011 and has hosted many great artists, including most recently Lonnie Holley, Virginia Prescott, Joe Bradley, Eric Haze, Keith Mayerson, Sedrick Huckaby, Susan Te Kahurangi King, Celeste Dupuy Spencer…www.elainedekooninghouse.org