Briefly describe the work you do.
My video practice is rooted in the idea of painting as an expanded field. I started making videos about four years ago and quickly learned that I enjoyed the process of nonlinear narrative construction. I shoot video with whatever I can get my hands on including the i phone, go pro, and photo booth. I am also a performance artist and I recently finished an animation using video documentation from a performance entitled I’m Fine that was performed at Le Lieu, centre en art actuel in Québec, Canada. It took me approximately three hours to animate five seconds. The documentation is 24 frames per second and is 8 minutes and 45 seconds long, a total of 507 seconds, and 12,168 drawings. The animation took me a year to complete.
Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.
I usually start by researching the topic that I am interested in such as hysteria, the rest cure and early-twentieth-century queer novels. This process involves reading texts, watching films (reverse storyboarding) and other visual research. Once I have done a fair amount of research I begin the process of storyboarding. My storyboards are usually text based not image based. Along with reading theoretical texts such as Feeling Backwards by Heather Love. I find that reading fiction informs how I construct images. Dorothy Allison says it better than I can, “Behind the story I tell is the one I don’t. Behind the story you hear is the one I wish I could make you hear.”
The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”
I don’t have a studio, even when I had a studio in grad school I found that I rarely used it.
What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
When I first started making art I identified as a painter. However I did not want to get an MFA in painting. I was fortunate enough to attend a graduate program that allowed me to work interdisciplinary, study critical theory, performance art, and video. When I first got to graduate school I decided that I would take the class that scared me the most, which was performance art. Most everything that I produce has some sort of performative element.
When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can?
Everyday, All day. You better work! Being an artist is a job! When I am not making work I am thinking about making work. Your artistic practice does not have to put food on the table, unfortunately that means that you have to work twice as hard.
How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?
I never thought I would be working with computers or technology. I think that you could look at my work and see that I was once a painter. Sometimes I still make secret paintings.
Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?
Adrian Piper (cornered), Pipilotti Rist (i am not a girl who misses much), Omer Fast (CNN), Natalie Bookchin (Mass Ornament) Zackary Drucker, Rhys Ernst, Julie Tolentino, Ron Athey, Heather Cassils, Sandy Stone, Amelia Jones, Anna Gaskell, Marilyn Minter, Dare Wright, Michelle Handelman (Dorian, a Cinematic Perfume) Mika Rottenberg, and Daisies 1966 Czechoslovak film written and directed by Vera Chytilova.
If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?
NEVER! I have no choice! “No one has ever written, painted, sculpted, modeled, built, or invented except literally to get out of hell.” ~ Artaud
Sarah Hill lives in Austin, Texas. They had their first international solo show at Le Lieu, Center en art Acuel, Canada. They have performed at the following places, International Performance Platform Festival in Lublin, Poland at Gallery Labirynt. And at Performatorium 2014: Festival of Queer Performance Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.Sarah received their MFA from the Museum School in partnership with Tufts University, Boston. They have studied with Black Market International at the Festival of live Art in Glasgow, Scotland. They have performed at Mobius, Proof Gallery and Anthony Greaney in Boston, Grace Exhibition Space in New York, and at little berlin in Philadelphia. They have screened videos in Melbourne Australia, Scotland, Canada, Miami and New York. Sarah has worked on projects with William Pope. L (Cusp) and Roderick Buchanan (Swim).
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.