In this APEX program titled Venus Retrograde, Hannah Piper Burns (b. 1984) takes reality shows as the medium of her work. In particular, she uses episodes of The Bachelor and its spinoffs The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise. Through Burns’ use of editing, splicing, glitches, and repetition, she rips apart the seams of a stifling narrative to pull out pieces of the morass lying just beneath the highly stylized gloss.
Through Burns’ films and installations, we begin to see the uncomfortable forces and paradoxes that define much of our own contemporary moment. What becomes clearer is a patchwork of the banal and profound absurdities—of love and failure, of surveillance and spectacle—pulling the viewer into dream logic that is cinematic and intimate. What is experienced puts the viewer in a metaphysical pickle.
As a multimedia artist, Burns creates projects spanning video, performance, installation, text, and interactivity. Her work has been shown widely across the United States and Canada, including the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; the Indie Bits Festival in Columbia, South Carolina; the Winnipeg Underground Film Festival; and as part of Physical Education’s Say When.
APEX is an ongoing series of exhibitions of Northwest-based artists, curated by Grace Kook-Anderson, The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art. The APEX series is supported in part by The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Endowments for Northwest Art and the Exhibition Series Sponsors.