SCREEN: Tussle, Girl Fight and The Beast with Two Backs by Lauren Gregory

Artist: Lauren Gregory

Titles: Tussle, Girl Fight and The Beast with Two Backs

Curated by: Federico Acal and Benny Van den Meulengracht-Vrancx

Screening: January 16 – February 10, 2018

Year: 2017

Duration: Tussle: 5’12”, Girl Fight: 6’09”, The Beast with Two Backs: 5’52”

There is a thread in my animation work, an ongoing fascination with fighting: Tapout wrestling, mud wrestling, boxing, aggressively making out, and plain old arguing.  Tussle sprang from this exploration.  I painted it on a pane of glass on my desk, changing the painting and sliding the glass around as I went along snapping photos.  I used baby oil to keep the paint from drying and I can still smell it whenever I watch this one.  I made Tussle in preparation for the show “Painting as Film” at the Kunsthalle Darmstadt in Germany.

Next came Girl Fight, which I made in my animation cave during a residency at Budapest Art Factory during Fall 2017.  It was a stepping stone or almost a warmup to the final piece. In New York one month later, as I sat in my new cave painting The Beast with Two Backs, the news of Harvey Weinstein came. After that dam broke and a flood of news followed, I was forced to grapple with my own assault from over a decade ago. This piece became a fantasy of primal domination over my attacker, an alternate reality in which the woman is able to defend herself and come out unscathed. Even though she never quite gets away and the cycle continues, she still has some sense of agency over her fate.  I finished it last night and had a good cry.

Brooklyn-based and Tennessee-raised, Lauren Gregory is a painter, animator, and music video director.  A third-generation southern female painter, she began by following in her mother’s and grandmother’s footsteps, often painting friends and family in quick one-sitting sessions.  Since earning her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009, Lauren’s work has developed into oil paint stop-motion animations – moving paintings in which thick impasto strokes appear to move before the viewer’s eyes – and music videos for international acts.  Her animations have screened at MoMA P.S.1, the New Museum, MOCA Los Angeles, and at museums and film festivals around the world.  Since 2010, Lauren has lived and worked in New York City, where she teaches animation at Parsons School of Design.