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Light Work, UVP announce April programming for Everson site

April 01, 2011

Jessica H. Reed

Light Work and Urban Video Project (UVP) have announced the video to be shown during April at the UVP Everson Museum of Art site. In April, UVP will feature a series of videos titled “Dress Up” by John D. Freyer. The videos will run each evening from dusk to 11 p.m.

Freyer’s series of videos connects speaker to listener, performer to viewer. His 5-year-old daughter and her friends take turns posing for the camera for periods of several minutes without moving. At first, the static video images of little girls in Cinderella skirts or mom’s high heels appear as cute clichés familiar from advertising and family photo albums. However, the children’s mild discomfort at standing still and silent becomes increasingly unsettling over time. The children struggle not to fidget or speak, opening a space for a more complicated reading of their self-presentation. Their chosen objects of ‘dress up’—the clutter of pink hair curlers and ballerina frills—become a costume that liberates, rather than obscures, the personality beneath.

Freyer is an interdisciplinary artist working at the crossroads of photography, video, audio and performance—both on the Internet and in real-world exhibits and installations. His work explores the role of everyday, personal objects in our lives—as commodities, fetishes, totems and touchstones. He also uses photographs to investigate systems of exchange—how the circulation of objects and stories enriches social ties between individuals and groups. Freyer’s work has evolved toward the human flow of memories and stories, especially across generations.

Freyer’s projects include his internationally renowned Internet project “All My Life for Sale,” his national PBS pilot “Second Hand Stories,” and his readymade projects “Walm-Art.com” and “Big Boy.” His work has been reviewed in The New Yorker, The Sunday London Times, Art Forum, Print Magazine and NBC’s “The Today Show.” His first book, “All My Life for Sale” (Bloomsbury USA, 2002) was optioned by Scott Free Productions, and the Oscar-nominated writer/director team Shari Berman and Robert Pulcini are attached to write the screenplay and direct the feature film adaptation.

Freyer is an assistant professor of studio art in the School for Art and Art History at the University of Iowa, where he teaches advanced photography and digital imaging classes. He is currently a Fulbright Research Fellow in Stockholm, Sweden.

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