Sondra Perry

1986, USA ; lives and works in New York


“Today I saw somebody who looked just like you”, sang the remixed voices of Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross in 1974, in the cover of You Are Everything (by The Stylistics, 1971). With this catchy tune, the first thing that strikes you in Sondra Perry’s installation are the walls covered with a “Chroma Key” blue, a color used as the inlay background for film sets, because no skin hue can be confused with it. It is for its capacity to deny bodies that S. Perry uses it as a backdrop, but also as a recurrent presence in the video IT’S IN THE GAME ‘17 or Mirror Gag for Vitrine and Projection (2018). For the artist, this blue conjures up the way in which technologies prolong the mechanisms of appropriation and alienation suffered by visible minorities. There are, incidentally, several stories of displacement, resemblance and double which intermingle in the video. First of all there is fact of the artist being her brother Sandy’s twin. They appear, as young children, in blurred family photos, then as grown-ups, in the thick of a video chat. Then there is the identity and appearance of S. Perry’s brother and the rest of his College basketball team, which have been purloined by the creators of a video game and turned into avatars. The tale of a twinning thus overlaps with that of the creation of a double, in 3D animation, a form of digital reproduction. The film is interspersed with sequences where the twins walk through the Egyptian and Oceanian departments of two major British and American museums. The artist places her brother’s story with regard to the systems of domination which prevailed over the acquisitions of the sculptures on view in these showcases. Wrenched from their original setting, they assume material form on the screen in 3D, with Chroma key blue, as if they were for sale. Close by, several sculptures composed of metal rods —sports training equipment— support video monitors. We wander inside a 3D jaw and skull… as if the physical prowess of the athletic body had given way to its endless fragmentation.

Avec le soutien de / with the support of Ambassade des États-Unis d’Amérique

IT’S IN THE GAME ‘17 or Mirror Gag for Vitrine and Projection, 2018

Frac Bretagne

Video (17’), sculptures, Chroma Key blue paint

Courtesy of the artist and Bridget Donahue, New York.
Commission Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (HOK), Oslo; Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), University of Pennsylvania.
With the support of the Embassy of the United States of America.