Artist’s Choice: Sara Greenberger Rafferty
Oct 6, 2014
Families viewing Sara Greenberger Rafferty’s video, Mono, 2014. Photograph by Filip Wolak
Sara Greenberger Rafferty, still from Mono, 2014. Digital video, color, sound; 3:30 min. Collection of the artist; courtesy Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York. © Sara Greenberger Rafferty, 2014
In Rafferty’s video, actor Susie Sokol mimics the gestures and verbal mannerisms taken from monologues of three late-night comedy hosts: Johnny Carson, David Letterman, and Joan Rivers. In the performance, Sokol interacts with a sporadic laughter track and edited segments of each host’s monologue.
Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Untitled, 2013. Acrylic polymer and inkjet print on acetate, plexiglass, and hardware, 35 3/4 × 24 in. (90.8 × 61 cm), irregular. Private Collection; courtesy the artist. © Sara Greenberger Rafferty. Photograph by Andres Ramirez
Elements of Rafferty’s layered two dimensional works appear in the video as she projects a slide onto the screen, creating a translucent layer of color between the actress and the audience.
Parents and their kids in a discussion with the artist Sara Greenberger Rafferty, May 2014. Photograph by Filip Wolak
Rafferty explained that she begins her work by creating a storyboard of images that map out the sequences of the video. She challenged families to create their own storyboarded performances that explored gesture as a mode of communication. Families brainstormed five different gestures which were captured by Rafferty using Polaroid cameras.
Families create collaged storyboards, May 2014. Photograph by Filip Wolak
To construct their storyboards, families used a selection of translucent collage materials and comedic images provided by Rafferty. They layered colors and images over one another to create a scene for their gestural performances.
A family works together to create their artwork, May 2014. Photograph by Filip Wolak
One family mapped out a joke in their storyboard involving two grapes. What did the green grape say to the purple grape? ‘BREATHE! Stupid! Breathe!’ They overlaid their photographs of the two grapes conversing with colored plastic to distinguish their different characters. The final image depicts a hungry child, played by their dad, who comes over to gobble up the grapes.
By Billie Rae Vinson, Coordinator of Family Programs