You Can Not Be Repalced. 2015
You Can Not Be Replaced is a two channel video installation featuring images of all 82 current and former members of the Dallas choral symphonic rock band, The Polyphonic Spree. The video is accompanied by an audio track that combines ambient cosmic recordings, spoken word and partial renditions of the Polyphonic Spree song It’s the Sun performed by former band members Andrew Tinker and Corn Mo.
The band itself was formed fifteen years ago and over that time people have come in and out of the band, some calling it almost a rite of passage in the Dallas music scene. In the piece, the band members are represented in their signature stage-wear of a white robe, giving them a cult-like appearance. Although the musicians have each brought something unique to this band, the sheer number of them forces one to ask the question, who are they? Are they memorable? Unique? Individual? The series recognizes and questions the notion of one’s individual importance as it cycles through a soundtrack leaving one wondering whether they are replaceable.
https://vimeo.com/178565080 (composite video)
https://vimeo.com/139300503 (installation view)
The Real Brian Wilson. 2018
The Real Brian Wilson is a community based project created to explore the idea of individuality as it relates to one’s name. It began in late 2015 with the launch of a website (TheRealBrianWilson.org) for the Brian Wilsons of the world to interact with and share their own personal story. Through a six month long social media campaign I solicited participation from strangers that had nothing in common other than all sharing the same name. Through the submissions I came across a young writer in Northern Ireland and invited him to be a more active participant. The project will be realized with an installation that encompasses a multi channel video presented with a series of artifacts including of hand written letters between Brian Wilson and I.
The multi-channel video presents a duality between an individual and a group of Brian Wilsons. One video shows an annual Brian Wilson meeting in which Brian Wilsons of the world meet in Scotland in a sort of ‘self help’ meeting type setting. The narrative in the group meeting uses stories submitted by actual Brian Wilsons through the website and features an actor named Brian Wilson. The other video shows the lone experience of Brian Wilson in Northern Ireland who has stumbled across a radio broadcast of the Brian Wilson meeting. The lone Brian Wilson travels through the unique landscape of Northern Ireland, a country that has been struggling with it’s own identity since it’s inception. Through the video he wrestles with his thoughts on individuality and the impact of his name. The artifacts set up a narrative that enables the viewer to see into the project on another level, providing them with information regarding the “real” Brian Wilson as an active collaborator in the whole project. The piece plays with fact and fiction leaving the viewer wondering what is real and what is contrived in this exploration of individuality.
Note: The text above was written by the Artist. No modification was made by C.O.C.A.
Elizabeth Withstandley is from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She is one of the co-founders of Locust Projects, a not-for-profit art exhibition space, in Miami, FL. She remains on the board of directors and is actively involved with the organization. She taught photography at The University of Miami from 1999-2004. Recently she organized the exhibition Smoke & Mirrors at The Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA. She has exhibited work at SIM gallery Reykjavik Iceland, Dimensions Variable, Miami, FL, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA, Winslow Garage, Los Angeles, CA, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, The Moore Space, Miami, Fredric Snitzer, Miami, The Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, The Tel Aviv Artists’ Studios, Israel, The Bass Museum, Miami, Fl.