Still from Cocktail Party
Video artist Janaye Brown makes single-shot videos based around the surreal and mundane moments of everyday life. In a four minute piece called Cocktail Hour, a room filled with fog slowly clears to reveal two figures sitting awkwardly in a living room as a clock is heard ticking off screen. In another video, called Late Spring, we watch for two minutes as insects swarm around a brightly lit bell tower. The Lynchian piece Rocks, With Salt frames a blank patch of sand on the beach that appears to be breathing.
Janaye’s style of long static shots, paired with beautiful cinematography, and minimal narrative grew out of a fascination with experimental filmmakers like Chantelle Ackerman and Yasujiro Ozu as well as pioneers of “slow cinema” like Michelangelo Antonioni.
A few week ago I meet up with Janaye Brown in Brooklyn to find out more about her work. We talked about some of her videos, slow cinema, and the difference between showing her work at a film festivals versus an art gallery.
Still from Rocks With Salt
Still from Late Spring
Still from Swan Song
Cocktail Hour installation view
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