Rising From the Undead

Jillian McDonald has noticed a zombie trend. Perhaps you've noticed it, too. Zombie walks, zombie novelty stores, and zombie-themed musical lyrics are popping up everywhere and the zombie film persists as the bone chiller par excellence. McDonald's work often deals with popular tropes and genre conventions, in film, and in this sense horror movies are ripe with opportunity for the analytically-inclined. Last weekend, in a project entitled Zombies in Condoland , the artist invited residents of Toronto (incidentally, the setting for director George Romero's latest film, Diary of a Zombie) to join the ranks of the proverbial undead. Working in collaboration with local arts project Nuit Blanche, McDonald established public film sets around town on which locals were invited to act the part in an effort to address the issue of gentrification. If the connection between scary characters and housing development is less than clear to you, consider a world in which you can run but not hide from the creeping threat of being swallowed-up and reprogrammed by a bland aesthetic of sameness and non-individuality. Sounds fun, right? Well, even if you missed last weekend's party, you can peruse McDonald's web-based instructions on how to look and act undead, scroll through her blog on all things zombiephile, or visit her previous horrifically hilarious projects. - Marisa Olson

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