Cécile B Evans

Why Did You Do That, 2010, 16 mm projection (looped), 1:32
transferred to 16 mm from HD

Originally trained as an actress, Belgian American artist CÉCILE B EVANS is fascinated how emotions and experiences are valued in contemporary society. Her work, often taking the form of videos and performances, investigates notions of intimacy, as well as narrative, identity, and culture while playing with the artifice of film: I’ve made fake tears, sweat, cum, romances…I get the most pleasure in manufacturing these – you realise how reproductible the traces of emotion are.

Like an anthropologist peaking into the jungle, she extracts and crystallizes mundane moments; totally removing them from their context, she provides the viewer no background nor linear narrative and thus no chance for affect. Instead, one is faced with one’s own personal history and the multi-level mirror play of identification.

Why Did You Do That (2010) features a 16 mm projection of a girl who appears to be crying, although it is soon revealed to be a prop, a small device hidden under her wig that is covering her entire face in what we first believe to be tears – forever deconstructing the reassuring dichotomy of real and fake, private and public sphere. – ALICE PFEIFFER

And good news: CÉCILE B EVANS has won the Emdash Award 2012 for her proposal to create a bespoke audio guide for Frieze’s 2012 London outing, which compiled art commentary from a range of people who don’t really know that much about art. She also created a hologram that popped up during the fair – a kind of transparent host, offering art-related insight.

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