Valley of the Deer

POSTED BY: Jillian McDonald | Sun May 11th, 2014 9:52 p.m.
LOCATION: Air Circulation

Jillian McDonald: Valley of the Deer, May 16 – June 22

Air Circulation has the pleasure of introducing Valley of the Deer, a solo exhibition of new work by Jillian McDonald. Valley of the Deer consists of a video, drawings, and a cast of augmented reality characters viewable on mobile devices in the gallery’s neighborhood.

The opening will take place on Friday, May 16, 7-9 pm and the show will be on display until June 22nd.

“I take inspiration from horror film archetypes, narratives, and cautionary tales. Masked characters appears frequently in horror – at once anonymous, uncanny, hybrid, terrifying, and disarmingly naïve.

Filming across Northeastern Scotland, I cast local residents in costumes and masks that reflect the landscape, traditional highland dress, and folklore – both real and imagined. The landscape figures prominently in this hunting narrative, and the masked actors appear in majestic views amid fairy knolls, lochs, mossy glens, and fog. Crystals break from rock, rainbows charge the skies, and live animals such as reindeer and wolves appear as spectres. Magical realism and live action reveal ghostly presences and there is a suggestion that this valley has many hidden tales. The soundtrack features sounds recorded on location as well as a local drum and pipe band and the mournful Loch Tay Boat Song.”

Accompanying the video and simultaneously existing as a separate artwork, From the Valley of the Deer is an augmented reality artwork. In each city where the work is exhibited, local GPS coordinates are haunted by characters and scenes from the video. A map is available online and these apparitions may be stumbled upon as by passersby, the locations visited long after by spirits of a distant valley.

Valley of the Deer was produced in residence at the Glenfiddich International Artist’s Residency in Dufftown, Scotland in 2012. It has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and a 103.9FM New York State Council on the Arts Distribution Grant. From the Valley of the Deer is a 2013 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. for its Turbulence web site. It was made possible with funding from the Jerome Foundation.

Jillian McDonald is a Canadian artist who divides her time between New York and Canada. She is an Associate Professor of Art at Pace University, teaching performance art, video, and studio seminars. She is hopelessly in love with northern places, snow, fog, and the ocean; and since 2006 has watched a healthy amount of horror films. She spent much of the past year living and working in Northeastern Scotland.

Solo shows and projects include the Esker Foundation in Calgary; Moti Hasson Gallery, Jack the Pelican Presents, and vertexList in New York; The San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery and Rosenthal Gallery in San Francisco; Hallwalls in Buffalo; La Sala Narañja in Valencia, Spain; YYZ in Toronto; Video Pool in Winnipeg; and Edge Media in Newfoundland. Her work has been included in group exhibitions and festivals at The Chelsea Museum and The Whitney Museum’s Artport in New York; The Edith Russ Haus for Media Art in Oldenburg, Germany; MMOCA in Madison, Wisconsin; Onsite at OCADU and YYZ Gallery in Toronto; The International Biennial of Contemporary Art in Mérida, Venezuela; The Sundance Film Festival in Utah; La Biennale de Montréal; and the Centre d’Art Contemporain de Basse-Normandie in Caen, France.


Air Circulation
160 Randolph Street
Brooklyn, New York Bushwick 11237
United States of America