NEXT LEVEL FUCKED UP
seven channel video installation, 13 monitors, video projector, carpet, pillows, police light, polyester window film
NEXT LEVEL FUCKED UP is a 7 channel video installation. Two of the channels have audio, the others are silent. It is simultaneously gut-wrenching, hysterical, deadly serious and beautiful. The idea to make this piece came about from a conversation I was having with a friend, us bitching about this boiling point we are living within. In researching for it, I bookmarked so much tragedy over months and months of time. This piece could be never ending. Could be a web series. I honed it in to the following subjects.
2. People picking up their dog's shit, tying it in a bag, and then throwing it on the ground. This happens all over Portland.
3. English Bulldogs being bred with heads so large that they need to be born through c-sections, and their vagina's have been bred so far forward that the males can't reach them anymore, so they need to be artificially inseminated
4. Gentrification through developer greed. Tear downs of affordable homes, replacing them with monstrosities that only the rich can buy. And cutting down a lot of trees and habitat as well.
5. Wildlife Management (trying to save starving, abandoned baby seals through force feeding) and (crawling into dens of hibernating bears to re-collar them)
6. Cats killing birds
7. Dogs with testicles - good or bad?
8. A hodgepodge of horrible - Katrina/Fukushima/Hurricane Sandy/Mountain top removal/Martin Shrekli/Forest fires due to global warming/Melting glaciers/Oil trains on fire
9. Elephants in captivity (by Colleen Plumb)
and then the ending brings us out to geologic time seen through layers of geology in the landscape, and the idea that this all used to be under the ocean, and bliss eventually comes to the rescue, with a dash of full-on double-rainbow guy's over-the-top audio freak out slipped in.
Three musicians helped me bring this to fruition. I asked Sam Coomes to make some NEXT LEVEL FUCKED UP refrains for me to use as punctuation, which turned out quite comical. Michael Hurley is singing his own song about Monsanto. Marisa Anderson supplies the ethereal guitar for the bliss section.
A multi-channel video and sound installation displaying the artist’s view of the crumbling world we live in is the central sculptural element of Vanessa Renwick’s piece Next Level Fucked Up. This primarily cacophonous, alternately soothing work combines images of global catastrophes with biting, guided-tour commentaries on Portlanders’ disgusted responses to recent regional development. Video bursts of typhoons, fires, melting glaciers, and images taken from metropolitan Portland are flanked by projections of Oregon’s Painted Hills. The artist embraces technology to make a statement focused upon the inevitability of cyclical environmental change through eons and eons of time. Renwick reminds us that oceans rise and fall, ice melts, palms replace firs—and that whatever the cause, change happens. From local to global and immediate to timeless, displaying both fear and hope, Renwick’s aptly titled installation blatantly addresses the artist’s reaction to our current state of affairs.
"Realism, compassion, hostility, Mother Nature, rage, spirituality in your very unique hard working tough no apologies way making art Herstory Energystory
Really gnarly" -Chris Johanson
credits for six of the channels:
score: Sam Coomes, Michael Hurley and Marisa Anderson
cinematography: Eric Edwards, Mark Eifert, Michael Palmieri and Vanessa Renwick
edit: Vanessa Renwick, Michael Palmieri and Tim Scotten
credit for one of the channels:
cinematography and edit: Colleen Plumb
APEX, Portland Art Museum 2016