artist / participant
Metro Pictures will present The Chittendens, a new five-channel video by Catherine Sullivan. Using a score by composer Sean Griffin, Sullivan assigned different "attitudes" to 16 actors. The attitudes are interpreted by the actors according to strict schemes. Performing rhythmically in different patterns and random combinations, the actors may vary the intensity of their performance, condense or expand the attitude\'s physical form, and abbreviate or extend its length. On view at Metro Pictures from November 19 through December 23, The Chittendens will be exhibited simultaneously at the Tate Modern in London, from November 18 through January 8, 2006. The piece debuted at the Secession in Vienna in summer 2005. A Chittendens catalogue will be available, co-published by the Secession and the Tate.
The title of the piece is derived from an insurance agency, Chittenden Group, whose corporate symbol is a lighthouse. Sullivan chose the lighthouse as a metaphor for self-direction and self-possession. Chittendens footage (shot on 16mm film and transferred to video) was filmed primarily in an abandoned Chicago office building and in a small lighthouse on Poverty Island near the Wisconsin shore of Lake Michigan.
Working in media including film, performance and photography, Sullivan\'s work investigates the constraints and paradoxes of theatrical representation – the discrepancies that arise in the acting practice between the role and the individual\'s physical and emotional idiosyncrasies. Her multi-channel video installations have included Five Economies: big hunt/little hunt, which was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Hammer Museum at UCLA and the Renaissance Society in Chicago in 2002; and Ice Floes of Franz Joseph Land, which was featured in the 2004 Whitney Biennial.
Catherine Sullivan\'s videos and performances have been presented in solo shows at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, 2003; Fri-Art Centre d' Art Contemporain, Fribourg, Switzerland, 2003; the Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany, 2004; and the Kunsthalle, Zurich, 2005. She has been in group shows including the Biennale d\'Art Contemporain de Lyon, 2003, and Playlist at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2004. Sullivan originally trained as an actor at California Institute of Arts, where she received her BFA in 1992. She completed her MFA at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena in 1997. Sullivan was a recipient of a DAAD grant (2004-2005) and spent a year living in Berlin. She lives and works in Los Angeles and Chicago. This will be her second show with Metro Pictures.