Jody\_Zellen's\_Of\_a\_Lost\_Utopia

Posted by Marisa Olson | Tue May 29th 2007 1:13 p.m.

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The works that comprise Jody Zellen's works on paper from Of a Lost
Utopia are poetic meditations on the fragmented way she reads, retains
and responds to the daily newspaper, using both old and new
technologies.

This most recent project consists of her hand-drawn tracings from
newspaper pages later scanned and digitally combined with digitized
news photos. The exhibition presents original drawings, digital
photographs, and an animated video in which the words and figures
depicted in the drawings collide and overlap, adding yet another level
of multivalent meaning to the work. Often the drawings include
tracings where images and texts from both sides of the newspaper
broadsheet are simultaneously exposed, revealing unintended
relationships and commentary.

Using the machine-made and mass-produced newspaper as its source, the
project begins as drawing, done by hand, and maintains that
hand-rendered quality as the work undergoes subsequent digital
transformations. Once the digital collages are completed, Zellen once
again takes them apart layer by layer and incorporates the individual
elements in a Flash-based animation, culminating in a DVD that becomes
a highly distilled "portrait" of the News, a deconstruction of both
medium and message. Zellen takes a given, in this case the newspaper,
and transforms it into something else. Beginning with the daily
ritual of drawing, she ends up with a digital animation that both
conveys a quality of tenderness embodied in the "touch" of the
hand-drawn line and the sparseness of the imagery, while also
critiquing mass media portrayal of global events. Zellen's images
re-constitute the digested newspaper as a collection of fragments,
depicting both beautiful and horrific events appearing poetically
beautiful while maintaining a specific criticality.

Jody Zellen is an artist living in Los Angeles, California. She
works in many media simultaneously making photographs, installations,
net art, public art, as well as artists' books that explore the
subject of the urban environment. She employs media-generated
representations of contemporary and historic cities as raw material
for aesthetic and social investigations. for more information visit
www.jodyzellen.com or www.paulkopeikingallery.com
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