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LAURA PARNES - 'JANIE 1978-1982'

22nd Sept - 6th Oct 2006
Preview Thursday 21st Sept 6pm-9pm


Alma Enterprises Gallery is proud to present Laura Parnes' London premiere of 'Janie 1978-1982', a multimedia installation inspired by Kathy Acker's seminal novel 'Blood and Guts in High School'.

In appropriating 'Blood and Guts in High School' for her own work, Laura Parnes pays homage to Acker's radically inventive use of literary appropriation and intertextuality. As in previous video works (such as Hollywood Inferno, Heidi 2 - in collaboration with Sue de Beer - and No is Yes), a narrative thread is maintained throughout the films whilst structure and language become unstable, invoking the schizophrenic culture that Kathy Acker attempted to write.

'Blood and Guts in High School' imagined the sexual life and endurances of the adolescent outsider Janie Smith. Parnes' installation re-imagines Janie through a video series that explores episodes in her life between 1978 and 1982. Set in New York at a time when Reagan was coming to power and punk was emerging, the episodes present Janie's daily life interrupted by US news events, which surreally meld into the character's personal experiences and often eerily presage current world affairs.

For the exhibition at Alma Enterprises Parnes will be premiering the latest episode in her series, 'Invasion of Lebanon', a piece that combines the invasion of Lebanon in 1982 with a sleazy evangelical soup kitchen in the ruins of a city inspired by the film 'Night of the Hunter'. The previous chapters will also be shown, including episodes that have found the protagonist in the nuclear meltdown that was Three Mile Island and becoming Reverend Jim Jones in the Jonestown mass suicide.

The installation will also include life-size photographic portraits of Janey that explore the different sides to her multifarious personality, as well as a reading display case of Parnes' interpretive material in response to the novel.

Laura Parnes lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She has exhibited and screened her work widely in the US and internationally, including Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; MOMA, NY; Brooklyn Museum, NY; Miami Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami; Museo Nacional Ceno DE Arte Reina Sofia, Spain; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Galizia, Spain; and Dunedin Public Art Gallery, New Zealand. Her solo shows have been, most recently, at Locust Gallery, Miami; Upstream Gallery, Netherlands; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, LA; Participant Inc, NY; and Deitch Projects, NY.

Laura Parnes will be discussing her work on Saturday 23rd September at 6.30pm at Alma Enterprises. This event is free.

For further information contact Sara Watkins at or 07973 272543

Press images can be accessed from here







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