This single-channel video installation features Lady Bunny, an iconic drag performer. She speaks on politics and current events, dances and lip-syncs. She is a vivid presence, especially considering the wall-size scale of the video.
In Here she is…v1, 2015, Atlas uses the medium of video to create a complex and provocative portrait of the renowned drag artist, Lady Bunny. An entertainer and comedienne, Lady Bunny has also become known for her outspoken political views on peace, militarism, climate change, gender equality, and LGBTQ rights. Atlas’ video integrates these two aspects of Lady Bunny’s life, intercutting a thoughtful monologue, in which she offers a rich and nuanced understanding of history and contemporary society, with parts of her racy stage routine. The video ends with an energetic lip-synched performance of her song, “You Were The One.”
“Charles Atlas is one of the most important video artists and cinematographers of our time,” said Hanhardt, who has worked with the artist since the 1980s. “He has an extraordinary talent for capturing performance, and this recent work is a preeminent example of his art form.”
Collaboration is central to the work of Charles Atlas (American, born 1949). Beginning his career in the world of dance, Atlas was the chief videographer for the pioneering choreographer Merce Cunningham in the 1970s and early 1980s. Together, they conceived a series of groundbreaking performances designed specifically for the video camera. Starting in the 1980s, Atlas expanded his circle of collaborators to include a wide range of artists, musicians, and performers, including post-punk band The Fall, London nightlife fixture Leigh Bowery, performance artist Marina Abramović, choreographer and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer, and singer and composer ANOHNI. Atlas is currently a highlight of this summer’s Venice Biennale, where he received an honorable mention. The Venice Biennale is the world’s most celebrated showcase for contemporary art, which takes place every two years and encompasses almost the entirety of the Italian tourist destination.